Laguekre, Louis

, a painter of histories on ceilings, staircases, halls, &c. and an assistant and imitator of Verrio, was born in France; and his father being master of the menagerie at Versailles, he had Louis XIV. for his godfather, and after him he was named. At first he was intended for the church, and was placed in the Jesuits’ college for education; but, having a hesitation in his speech, and having exhibited some taste in drawing, the king recommended to his parents to bring him up to the profession of painting. He then studied in the school of Le Brun, and in the royal academy of Paris; and made so much progress, that, in 1683, at the age of twenty, he came to England, and was immediately employed by Verrio upon the large work at St. Bartholomew’s hospital; in which he succeeded so well, that he soon obtained considerable employment on his own account, and executed a great number of ceilings, halls, and staircases, in the houses of the principal nobility of the country, particularly at lord Exeter’s at Burleigh, at Devonshire house, Piccadilly, Petworth, and Blenheim. King William gave him lodgings at Hampton Court, where he painted the “Labours of Hercules,” and repaired the large pictures called “The Triumphs of Caesar,” by Andrea Mantegna. His talents were not of a cast to demand very high respect, but they were fully equal to the mode in which they were employed, which requiring a certain portion of ingenuity, is a certain waste of talents of a superior class. In a few | years, it is probable, his name will repose for perpetuity on the records of history, and the unlucky satire of Pope, “where sprawl the saints of Verrio and Laguerre.’ He died in 1721, and in a place very seldom disturbed by such an event, viz. in the theatre of Drury-lane. He had gone there to see the” Island Princess" acted for the benefit of his son, who was newly entered upon the stage as a singer; but, before the play began, he was seized by an apoplexy, and carried away senseless. 1

1

Walpole’s Anecdotes.—Pilkington and Strutt.—Rees’s Cyclopædia.