Simon Vouet
French, 1590-1649
Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., J. Paul Getty Museum

Simon Vouet, considered a dominant figure in the development of the French Baroque, received his first artistic training from his father, a sign-painter. He continued his studies in Italy, where he quickly rose to prominence and was appointed president of Rome’s Accademia di San Luca. He became deeply influenced by Italian Mannerists Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Annibale Carracci—but none more than Caravaggio. Vouet’s early style emulated and made frequent use of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro; later on, his works took on softer colors and more decorative elements. When he returned to Paris, Vouet became a highly regarded painter and had a major role in overseeing the artistic projects commissioned by French royalty. He was also an influential teacher, counting among his students Francois Perrier, Nicholas Chaperon, Michel Dorigny, and Charles Le Brun.

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