Michel-Ange Houasse

(Paris, 1680-Arpajon, 1730)

The French painter Michel Ange Houasse, born in Paris in 1680, was the first foreign artist appointed by the court of Madrid to paint the royal family´s portrait. However, it seems that the Phillip V was not happy with the results even up to the point that in 1722 he sent for a new portrait painter, Jean Ranc. Although Houasse had been displaced from being the official portrait painter, this by no means meant his exclusion. Since then, his dedication to the works of the views of the Reales Sitios and above all, the elaboration of genre painting, made him one of Phillip V´s favorite artists, so much so that the king passionately treasured the small paintings of the Frenchman in his private quarters at the Palace of La Granja. These scenes, based on local customs, were inspired on the aesthetics of the Dutch paintings and especially of Teniers, so important to the monarch, while tempered by the French apprenticeship of the author.