(b Paris, 15 June 1636; d Paris, 13 Dec. 1716). French painter, one of the pre-eminent decorative artists of Louis XIV's reign. He was a pupil of Le Brun and his assistant at Versailles, but his style was more strongly affected by his stay in Italy (1658–63), where he absorbed the Baroque manner of Pietro da Cortona and was influenced by the colour and warmth of such north Italian artists as Correggio and Veronese.
In the 1680s he turned more to Rubens as a source of inspiration. From 1689 to 1692 La Fosse worked in London for the 1st Duke of Montagu (former British ambassador to France) on the decoration of Montagu House (destroyed), then returned to Paris to decorate the church of the Invalides. Originally he was commissioned to paint the entire building, but eventually he did only the dome and pendentives (1702–4), in a style that heralds something of the lightness and elegance of the ensuing Rococo. La Fosse's work was much more free and colourful than that of most of his contemporaries, and Anthony Blunt described him as ‘almost the only 17th-century French artist whom Watteau may have studied with profit’.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)