Nicolas Lagneau 

Active c. 1590-1660

Portrait of a Gentleman, bust-length

Black and red chalk on beige paper.

Watermark grapes in a coat of arms.

15 x 10 5/8 inches (381 x 270 mm.)


The name ‘Lagneau’ has been given to an anonymous portraitist who worked in Paris during the first half of the seventeenth century. The identity of the artist has been disputed. Nicolas Lagneau de Verneuil; David Lagneau, King Louis XIII’s doctor; Jacques Lagneau, a Parisian engraver; and various other anonymous artists have been proposed, but none of these have been found as definitive.

The attribution to Lagneau is derived from two references to the name: in the verses of Livres des peinturesby the seventeenth century collector Michel de Marolles and from in inscription on a sheet from an album of portraits belonging to Marolles, currently in the Nationale, Paris. A sheet in another album, currently in the Louvre, is dated ‘1625’ on the verso. There are several other albums of the same genre currently in Cassel, Stockholm, Cremona, Vienna and London.