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 Eustache Le Sueur  (1616 - 1655)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: allegorical and mythological figure painting-classical baroque

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A French painter in Classical Baroque style, Eustache Le Sueur depicted allegorical, religious and mythological subjects.  He spent his entire career in Paris and had a distinguished reputation both for his painting skills and for the fact he was a founder of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris and one of its first twelve professors. 

Also, the reproduction of some of his paintings in tapestry brought him added attention as did his decorating for the Hotel Lambert in Paris for the Cabinet of the Muses.  Shown in the painting titled The Muses: Clio, Euterpe and Thalia are goddesses, companions of Apollo, creating poetry and music.  However, he left this work uncompleted.  He also did a series of decorations for the mansion of Lambert de Thorigny, which added to Le Sueur's reputation, and for the King and Queen in the Louvre, he did decorations for their apartments.  In addition, he did many religious paintings for churches and convents and a series of 22 paintings of the Life of St. Bruno, now in the Louvre. 

Eustache Le Sueur had helpers with many of his projects including Tb. Gouss, his wife's brother, and three of his own brothers as well as several landscape painters.  Many of his paintings have been engraved because he was such a skilled draftsman that they lent themselves to the engraving process.

As a young man, he had the distinction of early admission to the guild of Master Painters.  His teacher was Simon Vouet (1590-1649), a leading French Baroque painter who occupied the title of First Painter at the court of Louis XIII.  Le Sueur, at age sixteen, was placed with Vouet by his father, Cathelin Le Sueur, a sculptor in wood.  Unlike most of his peers, Le Sueur did not train in Rome but remained in Paris under the influence of Vouet and the Baroque style.   However, in his later years, he became engrossed in the paintings of the Italian painter Raphael (1483-1520).

Reportedly he led a simple, secluded life, disavowing excessive indulgences.

Sources include:
Encyclopaedia Britannica,

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