Claude Vignon Biography | Oil Paintings

5-19-1593 Tours, FRA – 5-10-1670 Paris, FRA

Vignon, Claude

Claude Vignon received his initial artistic training in Paris in the studio of the Mannerist painter Jacob Bunel, then Claude Vignon traveled to Rome in 1609 and stayed for two years, joining the French community of painters, including Simon Vouet and Valentin de Boulogne. In 1616 he became a member of the Painter’s Guild of Paris and returned to Rome the following year. On a trip to Spain, he was assaulted by eight bandits in Barcelona and was wounded in the face during a struggle.

He returned to France in 1623, and the next year he got married, at the age of thirty. He married again in 1644 shortly after the death of his first wife. Claude Vignon is said to have 35 children between the two wives, but 24 of them are documented, nonetheless, amazing he was able to paint anything with such a large family.

Although Claude Vignon is considered one of the most important and most distinctive French painters of his generation, active under both King Louis XIII and during the first part of the reign of Louis XIV. His diverse style is a mix of different influences, he began in a late Mannerist style in France through his teacher Bunel, then fell under the spell of Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio in Rome through Bartolomeo Manfredi, and Dutch through Rembrandt Van Rijn and his precursors, such as Adam Elsheimer and after his final return to France, in 1627, reverted to a kind of backward-looking Mannerism full of his own idiosyncrasies in the form of extravagant color schemes.

The only parallel with his work in the seventeenth century is found in the late follower of Rembrandt, Arent de Gelder; and the very extravagance of Vignon’s art in the 1620s has led to him being described as a ‘precursor of Rembrandt’. His return to Mannerism in the 1620s is exactly paralleled by another Dutchman, Pieter Lastman of Amsterdam, whose color and handling are very close to Vignon’s. The similarities between Rembrandt and Claude Vignon are important because Rembrandt was influenced by Lastman during his first stay in Amsterdam in the years 1625-6.

Art Movement: Mannerism, Baroque.
Artists Influencing Claude Vignon: Jacob Bunel.
He Traveled To Italy, Spain.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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