Charles Le Brun

In 1683, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture commissioned Largillière to paint a portrait of Le Brun and submit it as his reception piece. The work was not completed until 1686. In the meantime, Gérard Edelinck used a preparatory study by Largillière to execute this engraving, which he presented to the academy in March 1684.

The French verse below the portrait emphasizes the mutual dependence between king and artist: “He needed a painter, you needed a master who could provide your art with many a noble design.…”

Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905.