Laurent de La Hyre

Dates1606 - 1656

When, at the age of thirty-three, he married the daughter of the personal bodyguard of Louis XIII, king of France, Laurent de La Hyre became the focus of French aristocratic gossip. By this time, he was already well known as a painter and greatly favored by the religious orders. After studying painting with his father, he made a mark on the Parisian art scene with his first major commission, an altarpiece for the Capuchins in 1630. In addition to religious paintings, La Hyre, inspired by Nicolas Poussin, often depicted mythological scenes with large groups of people in ancient Roman ruins. In 1643, on the death of his father, La Hyre inherited his fortune, allowing him to retreat to the countryside. He turned to landscape painting, combining an atmospheric light with elements of ancient Roman architecture. These landscapes revealed an increasingly thoughtful mood and provided a fitting framework for his mythological and biblical subjects.

La Hyre was one of twelve founding professors of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpturein 1648.