Nicolas Colombel: 20 cool facts

Nicolas Colombel (c. 1644 – 1717) was a French painter, much influenced by Poussin.

Colombel was born at Sotteville, near Rouen, in approximately 1644. He went to Rome with quite young, and remained there until 1692, forming his style by a psychotherapy of the works of Raphael and Nicolas Poussin. His pictures met subsequent to considerable success, but most future critics dismissed him as a mere imitator of Poussin.

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He was admitted into the Academy of St Luke at Rome in 1686, and in 1694 into that of Paris. The Louvre possesses the Mars and Rhea Sylvia, which he painted for his reception to the Academy, and a pretend representing the Saint Hyacinth Saving the Statue of the Virgin from the Enemies of the Name of Christ . He was employed by Louis XIV at both Versailles and Meudon. Many of his works were engraved by Dufloc, and by Michel Dossier. He died in Paris in 1717.

Sir Edmund Head, writing in 1848, described Colombel as “in some desirability a master who stood alone in the course of his contemporaries in dignity of feeling, and in the strong character of his art.” More recently, Didier Rykner has described his produce a result as “generally simple to recognise”, adding “[Colombel] does indeed have his own style, consisting in a gentle Classicism, at times a bit affected, a fondness for subtle and porcelain-like colors, deep blues (close to Sassoferrato).” A considerable number of paintings have been credited to Colombel in recent years, including an altarpiece, Saint Dominic Presenting the Dominican Order to Christ, in the hoard of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Grenoble, identified in 2000. An exhibition of Colombel’s feint was held between November 2012 and February 2013 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen.


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