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(bapt. Valenciennes, 10 Oct. 1684; d Nogent-sur-Marne, nr. Paris, 18 July 1721). The greatest French painter of his period and one of the key figures of Rococo art. His home town of Valenciennes had passed to France from the Spanish Netherlands only six years before his birth, and he was regarded by contemporaries as a Flemish painter. There are indeed strong links with Flanders in his art, but it also has a sophistication that is quintessentially French.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)