|Sebastien Bourdon (1616-1671)|
Head of an Apostle, possibly St Bartholomew.
Oil on panel
4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
Attributed to Sebastien Bourdon (1616-1617)
Inscribed on the reverse in black ink "Des Main...de Siglas original de Sebastien Bourdon".
Sebastien Bourdon (1616-1671):
The French painter Sebastien Bourdon was born in Montpellier in 1616 the son of the painter and stained glass artist Martin Bourdon. He went to Paris at the age of seven to study under the tutelage of Jean Barthelemy. At the age of fourteen his attempt to make a living as an artist met with little success and in desperation he became a soldier. He managed to secure his release and at eighteen left for Rome where he lived for three years. Forced to leave when a fellow painter reported him as a heretic to the Holy Inquisition he returned to Paris in 1637. There his talent was finally recognised and he started painting small scale battle and hunting scenes in addition to religious paintings, portraits and landscapes. In 1652 Queen Christina of Sweden invited him to become her first court painter and while in Stockholm he produced portraits of Charles X and all the great generals of the Swedish army. After Queen Christina abdicated her throne Bourdon returned to Paris in 1654 and the following year became Rector of the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture.
Collections: The Louvre, Paris; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Prado, Madrid; National Museum, Stockholm and elsewhere.