Charles de Saint-Albin, Archbishop of Cambrai

Object Details

Title:

Charles de Saint-Albin, Archbishop of Cambrai

Artist/Maker(s):

Hyacinthe Rigaud (French, 1659 - 1743)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

France (Place created)

Date:

1723

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

146.1 x 113 cm (57 1/2 x 44 1/2 in.)

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The Archbishop of Cambrai, Charles de Saint-Albin, was the illegitimate son of Philippe, duc d'Orléans, and a dancer at the opera. Although his father never recognized him officially, he smoothed his son's swift advance in the Church hierarchy and aided his appointment to the archbishopric of Cambrai. In the year of his appointment, the archbishop commissioned this portrait from Hyacinthe Rigaud, the most accomplished and flattering portraitist at the court of Louis XIV.

Shown in his robes of office, Saint-Albin balances a book on his knee and presses his left hand to his chest, a gesture suggesting his spirituality. Rigaud masterfully displayed the different textures of his shimmering satin robe and the exquisitely patterned lace of the garment worn underneath. A soft ermine cape is painted so realistically that the viewer can see the indentations left by Saint-Albin's fingers as they press against the fur.

Provenance
1723 -

Charles de Saint-Albin, archbishop of Cambrai, 1698 - 1764, commissioned from the artist, 1723. Possibly in his Parisian townhouse, Place des Victoires.

19th century -

Private Collection (Belgium)

- 1988

Artemis Fine Arts Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988.

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