French painter (b. 1616/17, Paris, d. 1655, Paris).
French painter and draughtsman. He was one of the most important painters of historical, mythological and religious pictures in 17th-century France and one of the founders of French classicism. He was long considered the 'French Raphael' and the equal of Nicolas Poussin and Charles Le Brun. His reputation reached its zenith in the first half of the 19th century, but since then it has been in decline, largely as a result of the simplified and saccharine image of the man and his art created by Romantic writers and painters. Nevertheless, more recent recognition of the complexity of his art has resulted in a new interest in him and in his place in the evolution of French painting in the 17th century. Despite the almost total absence of signed and dated works, the chronology of Le Sueur's oeuvre can be established with the aid of a few surviving contracts,