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Pierre Corneille (1606–1684)

Photo credit: The Trustees of the British Museum

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Pierre Corneille, a French playwright particularly noted for his tragedies, was trained as a lawyer and for 21 years combined writing with the legal profession. He is today perhaps best remembered for 'Le Cid' (1637), based on the legend of the eleventh-century Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (known as ‘El Cid Campeador’). This play, and his other historical tragedies, brought fame and success but towards the end of his life Corneille lost favour.

British Museum


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas on panel

  • Measurements

    29 x 23.8 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    purchased as part of the Sloane Collection, 1753


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British Museum

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