Arnould de Vuez
1644 – 1720
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
A preliminary drawing for this composition is in the collection of old master drawings housed at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Arnould de Vuez was born in St. Omer in 1644 and at an early age had to travel to Paris where he appears to have joined the studio of Claude François (1614 - 1685), a Récollet monk, better known as Frère Luc, who had himself been taught by Simon Vouet. Later he travelled to Venice to live with his uncle, a Canon of the city. From here he moved to Rome where he was awarded first prize for drawing at the Accademia di San Luca.
Back in Paris, de Vuez joined the studio of Charles le Brun at the court of Louis XIV. He was commissioned to paint the Incredulity of St. Thomas for Notre Dame de Paris. This picture has been housed at the seminary of St. Jean in Lyon since the French Revolution.
Upon the death of Le Brun, de Vuez established himself at Lille and lived there for 50 years. Here he was to benefit from many opportunities offered to him for commission. Since its occupation by Louis XIV the town was being redeveloped, much of it under the supervision of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633 – 1707) who built the citadel there. Here de Vuez executed work for the Hospice Comtesse and the Carmelites at Lille, the Carmelites at Douai, the Benedictines at Marchiennes, as well as the Jesuits at Cambrai.
We are grateful to Prof. Pierre Rosenberg for his help with attributing this work to de Vuez.
Private Collection, UK