Antoine Coypel (Bust)
by Antoine Coysevox
This person is associated with: Baroque, Classicism
French classical painter, first son of Noël Coypel I, half-brother of Noël-Nicolas Coypel III, and father of Charles-Antoine Coypel IV.
He trained under his father Noël Coypel while he directed the French Academy in Rome between 1672 and 1676. He unsuccessfully competed for the Prix de Rome of 1676 and the prize was given to Louis Chéron (the subject was the Banishing from Earthly Paradise), but he still became Academician on 25 October 1681, at only 18; his reception piece was Louis XIV Resting on the Breast of Glory after the Peace of Nimegue.
As with the other painters of the second half of the century, his most important works were commissioned for Versailles; he notably made the grand ceiling of the Chapel - his masterpiece. He also painted the Gallery of Apollo in the Palais-Royal - the Parisian residence of the Duke of Orléans, of whom he had become the personal painter in 1688.
He had the best academic career possible, being appointed adjunct professor on 2 December 1684, professor on 20 December 1692, adjunct rector on 31 December 1707, and director of the Academy on 7 July 1714 until his death on 7 January 1722. During the regency of the Duke of Orléans (1715-1723), Coypel was bestowed with honours by his protector and became director of the Drawings and Paintings to the King (director of the royal collection), Royal Censor of the Books Related to Fine Arts (director of the royal art library), First Painter to the King in 1716, and he was finally ennobled in April 1717. Most of these positions were transmitted at his death to his son and pupil, Charles-Antoine Coypel.