French, 17th century, male.
Born 2 February 1616, in Montpellier; died 8 May 1671, in Paris.
Painter, fresco artist, engraver, draughtsman. History painting, religious subjects, allegorical subjects, mythological subjects, battles, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, landscapes with figures.
Sébastien Bourdon was the son of Martin Bourdon, master painter and stained glass worker, who gave him a grounding in his craft. At the age of seven Bourdon went to Paris with an uncle and was placed under the tutelage of Jean Barthélemy. At 14, heading South again, he stopped long enough in Bordeaux to paint frescoes on a ceiling of a local château, which suggests a degree of artistic proficiency. However, the young artist did not meet with much success and, after a miserable stay in Toulouse, he became a soldier, a job for which he was ill-suited. He managed to obtain his release and was 18 when he left for Rome. He visited Venice and other large Italian cities. From 1634 to 1637 he lived in Rome from the copies, some say pastiches, he produced of Cerquozzi, Benedetto Castiglione, Lodovico Carracci, Claude Lorraine, Andrea Sacchi, and particularly Bamboccio (Van Laer). He was a Calvinist, had to leave Rome when a colleague, the painter de Rieux, reported him as a heretic to the Holy Inquisition....