Guinea Pigs in Historical Art Museum
Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay
Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay I (1653–1715), also called ‘Jean-Baptiste Belin the Elder’, was a French painter who specialized in flowers. He was born in Caen, France in 1653 and died in Paris in 1715. Early in life he was forced to choose between his Protestant religion and his career. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 forced most Protestants to flee France to escape religious persecution. Belin decided to renounce his Protestant faith and converted to Catholicism in order to continue his work at the court of Louis XIV. Belin was the pupil of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, whose daughter he married, and whom he succeeded as a flower painter at the Gobelins manufactory.