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Le Brun was born in Paris in 1619. His father was a sculptor, and gave him his first instruction in art, which was followed by work in the studio of Vouet under the patronage of the Chancellor, Segier. Here he flourished, and was noticed by Poussin, who took him to Italy in 1642. Most of the following four years were spent studying classical antiquities. When he returned to Paris, he became a sought-after artist in court circles, and Mazarin eventually introduced him to Louis XIV, under whose patronage he became the head of the French school and exercised unlimited sway in all matters relating to art in France. He is probably most famous for his work at the palace of Versailles, where he designed fountains and the beautiful statues. The latter were captured in beautiful engravings by Gerard Edelinck.