Painter, history painter, portrait painter, college professor, rector and academy director
L. de Boullogne came from a family of artists whose most influential members, aside from him, were his father, Louis the Elder, and his brother Bon. He naturally received his initial training in his father's workshop, but early successes brought him public attention. In 1675 he went to Italy, where - like his entire generation - he was chiefly interested in the Raphael frescoes in the Vatican and in Roman Baroque painting. Like many of his contemporaries, his return took him by way of Venice, where he studied the Venetian palette first-hand.
He began his successful career in Paris at the Academy, where he finally served as 'directeur' in 1722. Commissions from the king and involvement in all the major artistic undertakings in Paris attest to Boullogne's leading role as a painter, which was finally solidified by his appointment as 'Premier Peintre du Roi' in 1725.
His painstaking preparations for paintings produced an extensive oeuvre of drawings, one that exhibits an unmistakably personal signature and handling of technique. Unlike La Fosse and Coypel, Boullogne did not work in the colourfully effective 'trois-crayon' manner, but rather preferred black and white crayons on blue or grey paper, handling them with a loose and sophisticated flow. Thus the effect of his drawings is based largely on a specific, shimmering silver tonality.
There is as yet no comprehensive scholarly work about this painter. Aside from an older treatise on the entire family by Caix de Saint-Aymour, 'Les Boullogne', Paris 1919, there are only essays on individual aspects.