List of Illustrations xiii The Life I The Style 19 Contents The Drawings 40 Appraisal and Evaluation 64 Bibliography 79 Notes 82 Index 90 Illustrations vii The French seventeenth century remains at the present moment one of the few areas in the history of later western art which still needs intensive study. Even the work of Pous sin, its most outstanding painter and the object of a continu ous stream of encomiums stretching back to his own life time, has only recently begun to be explored with the full scholarly apparatus of contemporary art history, and a definitive monograph is probably still some years in the future. La Tour and the Le Nain brothers have been intro duced into the company of great artists only within the past Foreword quarter century, and with significant discoyeries still being made complete evaluations are as yet not even to be contem plated. After numerous casual encounters with the frequent ly handsome if astonishingly varied canvases of Bourdon, one becomes suspicious of the ever repeated dismissal of his work as merely eclectic and longs for a revealing analysis of his purposes and patronage. The harsh Latinity of Valentin, the sumptuous strangeness ofVignon, the audacious languor of Antoine Coypel, these are some of the many topics that still await careful investigation and evaluation.