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"Las Meninas, "Diego Velázquez, 1656, shows a princess watching her unseen parents as Velázquez paints them; the cross on his chest was added later, according to legend painted by the king himself, after the artist received the "Order of Santiago in 1659 (click on image and run cursor over to identify figures).

A "court "painter was an artist who painted for the members of a "royal or "noble family, sometimes on a fixed salary and on an exclusive basis where the artist was not supposed to undertake other work.

Especially in the late "Middle Ages, they were often given the office of "valet de chambre. Usually they were given a salary and formal title, and often a pension for life, though arrangements were highly variable. For the artist, a court appointment had the advantage of freeing them from the restriction of local "painters' guilds, although in the Middle Ages and Renaissance they also often had to spend large amounts of time doing decorative work about the palace, and creating temporary works for court entertainments and displays. In England the role of "Serjeant Painter was set up for this, leaving the "King's painter" (and the queen's) free to paint mostly portraits. See category of Italian art collectors for lists that included non-aristocratic patrons. Some artists, like "Jan van Eyck or "Diego Velázquez, were used in other capacities at court, as diplomats, functionaries, or administrators.

In "Islamic cultures, especially between the 14th and 17th centuries, similar arrangements operated for miniaturists and artists in other media. In the "Persian miniature, the shah and other rulers typically maintained a "court workshop" or ""atelier", of calligraphers, miniaturists, binders and other crafts, usually managed by the royal librarian. More than in the West, the courts were the essential patrons of large-scale commissions, and political changes, or changes in personal tastes, could have a significant effect on the development of a style. The name by which "Riza Abbasi is usually known includes the honorific title "Abbasi", which he and others were given by Shah "Abbas I of Persia to associate them with their patron. "Abd as-Samad, a Persian painter who moved to the "Mughal Empire, was given a number of significant administrative jobs, as indeed was his artist son. The court remained the focus of patronage of painting in the "sub-Mughal" princely courts of India, whether Muslim or "Hindu.

At many periods rulers owned or controlled royal workshops or factories making high-quality "tapestries, "porcelain or pottery, silks and other types of object. This was especially the case in China and in the "Byzantine Empire. Often court artists worked on the designs for these products; for example the finest "carpets of Persia, "Ottoman Turkey and Mughal India reflect very closely developments in style found in other media such as "Ottoman illumination, and it is usually assumed that designs were sent to the weavers from the court. The same process can be better documented in 17th century France, where the court painter "Charles Le Brun was director of the royal "Gobelins Manufactory, then producing far more than just tapestries, and also designed the royal commissions from the private "Savonnerie manufactory of carpets. Le Brun dominated, and largely created, the style found throughout "Louis XIV's palaces, which was then hugely influential in France and throughout Europe.

By the 20th century court painters was an obsolete position. Commonly more artists were granted permission by royalty who would sit for official portraits whether for private of patron purposes.

Incomplete list of court painters (A-Z)[edit]

Painter Nationality Court
"Miguel António do Amaral Portuguese "Joseph I of Portugal
"Maria I of Portugal
"Joseph, Prince of Brazil
"Jacopo Amigoni Italian "Ferdinand VI of Spain
"Friedrich von Amerling Austrian "Franz Joseph I of Austria
"Ferdinand Bauer Austrian "Prince of Liechtenstein
"Wu Bin Chinese "Ming Dynasty
"Bishandas Indian "Jahangir
"Francis Bourgeois English "George III of the United Kingdom
"Agnolo di Cosimo Italian "Medici
"Giovanni Maria delle Piane Italian "Elizabeth Farnese
"Claude Deruet French "Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
"Jean-Baptiste Debret French "John VI of Portugal
"Pedro IV and I of Portugal and Brazil
"Jacques d'Agar French "Christian V of Denmark
"Dosso Dossi Italian "Alphonso I of Ferrara
"Ercole II d'Este
"Hans Dürer German "Sigismund I of Poland
"Anthony van Dyck Flemish "Charles I of England
"David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl Swedish "Charles XI of Sweden
"Jan van Eyck Flemish "Philip of Charolais
"Domenico Fetti Italian "Gonzaga
"Jean Fouquet French "Louis XI of France
"Nuno Gonçalves Portuguese "Afonso V of Portugal
"Saint Princess Joan of Aviz
"Francisco Goya Spanish "Charles III of Spain
"Charles IV of Spain
"Ferdinand VII of Spain
"Carl Haag Anglo-German "Queen Victoria
"Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
"George Hayter English "Queen Victoria
"Hans Holbein the Younger German "Henry VIII of England
"Hyewon Korean "Joseon Dynasty
"Jens Juel Danish "Christian VII of Denmark
"Cristóvão de Morais Portuguese "John III of Portugal
"João Manuel, Prince of Portugal
"Sebastian I of Portugal
"Abdulcelil Levni Turkish "Mustafa II
"Ahmed III
"Louis-Michel van Loo French "Philip V of Spain
"Vieira Lusitano Portuguese "Joseph I of Portugal
"Maria I of Portugal
"Andrea Mantegna Italian "Mantua
"Tosa Mitsuoki Japanese "Edo
"Uemura Shōen Japanese "Emperor Shōwa
"Bernard van Orley Flemish "Margaret of Austria
"Maria of Austria
"Francesco Raibolini Italian "Mantua
"Peter Paul Rubens Flemish "Vincenzo I of Gonzaga
"Philip IV of Spain
"Rachel Ruysch Dutch "Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine
"Lucienne de Saint-Mart French "Nicholas II of Russia
"Alonso Sánchez Coello Spanish
"John III of Portugal
"João Manuel, Prince of Portugal
"Philip II of Spain
"Sebastian I of Portugal
"Louis de Silvestre French "King Augustus II of Poland
"Augustus III of Poland
"Domingos Sequeira Portuguese "John VI of Portugal
"Peter Snayers Flemish "Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
"Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria
"Dirk Stoop Dutch "John IV of Portugal
"Catherine of Braganza
"Charles II of England
"Titian Italian "Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
"Philip II of Spain
"Giuseppe Troni Italian "Maria I of Portugal
"John VI of Portugal
"Diego Velázquez Spanish "Philip IV of Spain
"Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen Dutch "Margaret of Austria
"Zhang Zeduan Chinese "Northern Song Dynasty
"Sofonisba Anguissola Italian "Philip II of Spain
"Matthias Grünewald German "Isenheim Altarpiece
"Sanwlah Artist Mughal Empire "Jahangir

See also[edit]


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