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Lahire, Laurent De

LAHIRE, LAURENT DE (1606-1656), French painter, was born at Paris on the 27th of February 1606. He became a pupil of Lallemand, studied the works of Primaticcio at Fontainebleau, but never visited Italy, and belongs wholly to that transition period which preceded the school of Simon Vouet. His picture of Nicolas V. opening the crypt in which he discovers the corpse of St Francis of Assisi standing (Louvre) was executed in 1630 for the Capuchins of the Marais; it shows a gravity and sobriety of character which marked Lahire's best work, and seems not to have been without influence on Le Sueur. The Louvre contains eight other works, and paintings by Lahire are in the museums of Strasburg, Rouen and Le Mans. His drawings, of which the British Museum possesses a fine example, " Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple," are treated as seriously as his paintings, and sometimes show simplicity and dignity of effect. The example of the Capuchins, for whom he executed several other works in Paris, Rouen and Fecamp, was followed by the goldsmiths' company, for whom he produced in 1635 " St Peter healing the Sick " (Louvre) and the " Conversion of St Paul " in 1637. In 1646, with eleven other artists, he founded the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Richelieu called Lahire to the Palais Royal; Chancellor Seguier, Tallemant de Reaux and many others entrusted him with important works of decoration; for the Gobelins he designed a series of large compositions. Lahire painted also a great number of portraits, and in 1654 united in one work for the town-hall of Paris those of the principal dignitaries of the municipality. He died on the 28th of December 1656.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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