Michel Corneille the Younger

Dates1641 - 1708

Primarily a decorator, Michel Corneille the Younger worked at Louis XIV's residences, including Versailles and Fontainebleau. He also decorated government buildings and painted religious works for French churches. Unfortunately, many of his paintings have been destroyed, so today he is known chiefly through his many drawings and engravings.

Corneille, whose younger brother was also a successful painter, received his earliest artistic training from his father, painter Michel Corneille the Elder. He then studied under classicizing painters Charles Le Brun and Pierre Mignard, whose powerful protection helped him to receive commissions. Winning the Prix de Rome in 1659 allowed Corneille to study in Rome for four years, where he developed a great admiration for the the Carracci, whose work he copied extensively while there.

Admitted to the Académie Royale in 1663, Corneille moved up the teaching ranks, becoming professor and then counselor. A famous painter in his own day and the most highly esteemed of the three Corneilles, he shared his father's admiration for Italian art and taste for well-ordered compositions.