b. 1661 Paris, d. 1722 Paris
Antoine Coypel always had grand ambition. His early influences included his father, French painter Noël Coypel, and Charles Le Brun. But as a young adult, his paintings and drawings more often reflected the influence of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, emphasizing the interaction of colors to create the illusion of physical space. In this respect, Coypel's body of work is part of a critical transitional phase in French art. His aspirations led him to draw and paint scenes consistent with the Royal Court's desires, but royal commissions were scarce when France fought a war in the late 1600s. Coypel turned to private commissions to earn a living, capitalizing on the opportunity to move away from painting grand religious scenes and instead create canvasses on lighter subjects in a less rigid style. Eventually, Coypel's goal was realized when he was appointed le premier peintre du Roi in 1715, less than seven years before his death.