He studied in Antwerp at Anthony Gubo, then in Paris at the A. F. von der Melena. Went several times to England, where he helped Peter Lely, who worked at the court of Charles II. The richness of color and the atmosphere of luxury in the wonderful portraits of the master, written in his Mature creative period, reminiscent of the Flemish roots of his art. In Paris he met the famous and influential artist Charles Lebrun became a member of the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture, later its Director, and at the end of life Advisor.
Largerer died in Paris on 20 March 1746.
Father Nicolas de Largilliere, a merchant, took three year old son to Antwerp; later Nicola for about two years he lived in London. The father wanted the boy went on the trade part, but he showed the ability to draw and on his return to Antwerp in 1668 began his studies in the Studio of Antoni Gubo. In 1672, passed in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. At the age of eighteen went to England, made the acquaintance of Peter Lely, who in 1675-1679, he produced (along with Antonio Verrio) restoration of paintings at Windsor castle and created their own works of historical content and wrote the still-lifes and portraits; he was influenced by Rubens and van Dyck.
The skill of the painter attracted the attention of Charles II, who wanted to keep it; but disclosure RichardSolo conspiracy in 1683 jeopardize the safety of him as a Catholic, and Largillière was forced to leave the country. With 1682, Largillière worked in Paris, where he devoted himself primarily portraiture. In Paris, his highly appreciated Lebrun and Adam Frans van der Meulen. The masterly possession of color and liveliness smear were attracted to his Studio many then-celebrities: Actresses, public figures, well-known preachers. Among the most famous models of the painter was Pierre Daniel Huet, Bishop of Evrenseki, cardinal de Noia, family Duclos and President of the Lambert family.
James II, reigned in England in 1685, caused the artist to himself and was offered the post of Keeper of the Royal collections, but the artist offers not accepted, still under vpechatleniem events of two years ago. During his stay in London he wrote a portrait of Charles II and began a portrait of the Queen.
Back in early 1686 in Paris, became an honorary member of the French Academy. As introductory works, he presented a portrait of Lebrun – one of the peaks of his work. The model is presented at work, surrounded by classical busts and figurines.
In 1690, Largillière included in the lists of members of the Academy as a historical painter. The highest achievement in this region are multi-figured compositions, created for the Paris Church Saint Etienne du Mont in 1694, Another historical-biblical painting, which appeared later, at 1720 ("the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem"), evidenced by, among other things, about the extraordinary talent of landscape painter. For portrait works Larzelere, like other of his colleagues of that time, the landscape also played an important role and was used as the background for figures. Landscape backgrounds and iridescent pastel coloring from Larzelere anticipate the Rococo art.
Portraits – the best part of the heritage of the artist. He, over time, sought greater freedom and naturalness in painting, in the depiction of poses, outfits. From the Flemish school in the art Larzelere are traits such as warm colors, broad strokes of thick, wavy lines, giving the paintings vibrancy. One of the most realistic paintings of the artist and one of the masterpieces of French portraiture is "a Man in a purple robe" (1700). Stylistically this work is close appeared two years later, the portrait of the sculptor Charles Boucher. Some of the features of the art of oil painting share these works with the works of Velasquez.
Three different genres, which succeeded the painter, was born in 1709 in the painting "Louis XIV with his family" characters which were self-Louis, his wife, a young Prince, the future Louis XV and the Duke du Biron. In addition to the main, the portrait genre works on the canvas behind the Prince there is the landscape, and next to the Queen – still life. A year later, created a self-portrait of the master is the only one where he portrays himself in the open air, in the society of his wife and daughter, not at work at the easel in the shadows of the Studio, as in other cases (including in the latter, created in 1725 the self-portrait; in it the contrast between light and dark recalls karavayevska "chiaroscuro").
In 1714 appeared one of the most extraordinary works of the artist – "a Study of different types of the hands", which shows how widely the author has mastered the techniques of oil painting: thick layers he writes own hands, depicts delicate fabric (Largillière were famous for their skill in the transfer of textures).
1718 – the year of the creation of the famous portrait of Voltaire.
Towards the end of his life, Largillière more writes portraits of men of persons belonging to the Paris of the bourgeoisie, whose names usually are not set (in this area, his main opponent was Hyacinthe Rigaud, who, however, preferred to write of aristocrats). Intimate portraits Larzelere marked topcost individual characteristics. It is generally preferred to private commissions official: it was associated with less responsibility and more rapid payment. The artist also created group portraits designed to perpetuate any event ("the Meeting of the Paris city hall in 1687", sketch for the lost painting). Success and career growth. In 1722, the artist was the Director, and in 1743, three years before his death, Chancellor of the Academy. After the death Larzelere became known to the General public some of his landscapes and still lifes; the best of these works – "Forest landscape".