loading page

Loading the page ...

Charles André van Loo

1705 Nice – 1785 Paris

The painter, Carle van Loo, was famous throughout Europe in his lifetime, as attested by the large number of major commissions he received and his ennoblement in 1750. Carle was trained by his brother Jean-Baptiste and, though still only a boy, followed him in 1714 to Rome, where he was apprenticed amongst others to Benedetto Luti. A pupil at the Royal Academy in Paris from 1720, Carle won the renowned Grand Prix in 1724. He subsequently spent lengthy periods in Rome and Turin, where he married the singer, Cristina Somis, in 1733. Fresco decorations and paintings in the Royal Palace in Turin, the Villa Stupinigi and several sacred buildings in the city serve as an enduring testimony to van Loo’s success at the court in Piemont. His career flourished quickly after his return to Paris in 1734 and his admission to membership of the Academy. Honourable appointments consolidated his reputation. From 1749, van Loo successively occupied various positions at the Royal Academy, ultimately being appointed director in 1763. The year previously he had been made Peintre ordinaire du Roy. Van Loo took portraits of Louis XV and Maria Leszczynska and received lucrative commissions for the interior painting of palaces and churches.