Sebastien Bourdon [French Baroque Painter]

Sebastien Bourdon is a French Baroque era painter born in 1616 in Montpelier. His father was a painter on glass and this influenced the young boy to undergo a career in art, being sent at the age of seven to Paris as an apprentice to a painter. At the age of 14 he left his apprenticeship and went to Bordeaux and the to Toulouse. Having a precarious financial situation, to say the least, he enlists in the army where in 1634 an officer recognizing his talent directs Sebastien on the road of his destiny by discharging him from military service and financing his journey to Rome. There he studied works by Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Caravaggio and earned his income by selling reproductions of other works.

In 1637 he returned to Paris and began to have his own commissions, among them St. Peter's martyrdom for Notre-Dame and the Martyrdom of St. Andrew for Church of Saint-André in Chartres. In 1648 he was one of the founders of the French Royal Academy. The next important moment in his biography is the year 1652 when Christina of Sweden made him chief court painter. He continued to execute commissions for the church of Saint-Benoit, for the cathedral of Montpellier, in Cologne and for the Tuileries Palace.


1635-1640 - The Beggars - oil on wood - 49x65 - Louvre Paris

1637-1640 - Death of Dido - oil on canvas - 159x137 - Hermitage, Russia

1640-1660 - Bacchus and Ceres with Nymphs and Satyrs - oil on canvas

1644 - Presentation in the Temple - oil on canvas - 71x61 - Louvre Paris

1645 - A scene from Roman History - oil on canvas - 145x197 - Louvre Paris

1650 - The Deposition - oil on canvas - 303x157 - Louvre Paris

1653 - Queen Christina of Sweden on Horseback - oil on canvas - 383x291 - Museo del Prado Madrid

1653-1654 - Moses and the Brazen Serpent - oil on canvas - 105x89 - Museo del Prado Madrid

1655-1660 - The Finding of Moses - oil on canvas - 120x173 - National Gallery of Art, Washington

1660 - The Holy Family with St Elizabeth and the Infant St John the Baptist - oil on canvas - 39x50 - Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid

???? - King Solomon Sacrificing to the Idols - 76x94 - Private collection

???? - Portrait of Rene Descartes - oil on canvas - 88x71 - Louvre Paris

???? - Quess Christina of Sweden - oil on canvas - 72x58 - Nationalmuseum Stockholm - Bourdon

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