(b Cologne, 10 July 1618; d Paris, 6 Mar. 1695). German-born French financier and collector. He inherited a vast fortune, as well as numerous works of art, from his banker father, who died in 1636. In about 1638 he settled in Paris, where he became a leading financier and built up a princely collection. He was one of the chief buyers of works from the Royal Collection sold after the execution of Charles I in 1649, for example, and he also acquired part of Lord Arundel's collection. His portrait was painted by van Dyck, Le Brun, and Rigaud, and he owned many celebrated pictures, including Caravaggio's Death of the Virgin and the Concert champêtre attributed at the time to Giorgione but now usually given to Titian (both pictures are now in the Louvre, Paris); however, his collection was renowned above all for its drawings. In 1662 he sold some works to Louis XIV and in 1671, after suffering financial reverses, he was obliged to sell most of the rest of the collection to the king on very unfavourable terms. Subsequently he prospered again and made another collection—less remarkable than the first but still of high quality. After his death this was gradually dispersed by his children; many of the drawings were bought by Crozat.
From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.