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France. He had read his poem to the best painters in all płaces through which he passed, and particularly to Albano and Guercino, then at Bologna ; and he consulted several men famous for their skill in polite literature.
He arrived at Paris in 1656, where he lodged with Mons. Potel, Greffier of the Council, in the street Beautreillis, where he painted a small room ; afterwards a picture for the altar of the church of St. Margaret, in the suburb St. Antoine. Mons. Bordier, Intendant of the Finances, who was then finishing his house of Rinci, now Livry, having seen this picture, was so highly pleased with it, that he took Du Fresnoy to that house, which is but two leagues from Paris, to paint the salon.In the ceiling was represented the burning of Troy; Venus is standing by Paris, who makes her remark how the fire consumes that great city ; in the front is the God of the River, which runs by it, and other deities; this one of his best performances, both for disposition and colouring. He afterwards painted a considerable number of pictures for the cabinets of the curious, particularly an altar-piece for the church of Lagni, representing the Assumption of the Virgin, and the Twelve Apostles, all as large as life. At the Hotel d'Erval (now d'Armenonville) he painted several pictures, and among them a ceiling of a room with four beautiful landscapes, the figures of which were by Mignard. As he understood architecture very well, he drew
for Mons. de Vilargelé all the designs of a house which that gentleman built four leagues from Avignon ; as likewise those for the Hotel de Lyonne, .and for that of the Grand Prior de Souvré. The high altar of the Filles-Dieu, in the street of St. Denis, was also designed by him.
Though he had finished his poem before he had left Italy, and communicated it, as has been already mentioned, to the best judges of that country, yet, after his return to France he continued still to revise it, with a view to treat more at length of some things, which did not seem to him sufficiently explained. This employment took up 'no small part of his time, and was the reason of his not having finished so many pictures as he might otherwise have done. And though he was desirous to see his work in print, he thought it improper to publish it without a French translation, which he deferred undertaking from time to time, out of diffidence of his own skill in his native language, which he had in some measure lost by his long residence in Italy. Mons. de Piles was therefore at last induced, at his desire, and by the merit of the Poem, to translate it into French, his version being revised by Du Fresnoy himself: and the latter had begun a commentary upon it, when he was seized with a palsy, and after languishing four or five months under it, died at the house of one of his brothers, at Villiers-le-bel, four leagues from Paris, in 1665, at the age of fifty-four, and was interred in the parish-church there. He had quitted his lodgings at Mons. Potel's, upon Mignard's return to Paris in 1658, and the two friends lived together from that time till the death of Du Fresnoy.
His poem was not published till three years after his death, when it was printed at Paris in duodecimo, with the French version and remarks of Mons. de Piles, and has been justly admired for its ele. gance and perspicuity.