Jean Antoine de Mesmes

male / French
diplomat, art agent
Paris 1639/1640
c. 1639-1640
Paris 1709-02-10
Family relationships
this field records any family relationship to one or more other artist(s).
grandson of the Comte d'Avaux, youngest son (of four) of Jean-Antoine de Mesmes and Anne Courtin
See also
In this field, you will find references to names of groups or to the artists that made/make up groups. You may also come across references to other artists if there was/is question of collaboration without a joint name. This is the case, for instance, with artists who rendered parts of works by other artists (such as with P.P Rubens and J. Brueghel I).
bought paintings for Louis XIV (Houbrajen 1719)
Biographical information
Active in
  • Parijs
  • Venetië 1672 - 1674
    Ambassador to the Republic of Venice. His task was to rebuild the Venetians trust in the French after they unilaterally pulled out of the war against the Ottoman empire 1669, leaving the Venetians in the lurch. He nevertheless engaged more in industrial espionage and the purchase of Italian works of art for the royal collections
  • Nijmegen 1678 - 1679
    In the peace negotiations in Nijmegen he acted for Louis XIV. During these negotiations he befriended Charles Colbert, marquis de Croissy, a senior French diplomat and brother of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance from 1661 to 1683. Colbert de Croissy was to become his boss as secretary of state for foreign affairs after the conclusion of the treaties in 1679
  • Den Haag 1678 - 1689
    As envoy to The Hague, d'Avaux intrigued with Amsterdam regents for economic reasons against William III's anti-French policy (which was discovered in 1684), and also tried to thwart Willem's English plans.
  • Ierland 1689 - 1690
    ambassador extraordinary to James II for the Irish expedition. As he strongly differed of opinion with king James (who wanted to use Ireland as a sprongboard for Scotland and England, his mission came to naught and therefore left Ireland in April 1690
  • Stockholm 1693 - 1699
    French ambassador in Sweden. As such he led the preliminary peace talks to end the Nine Years War leading to the Peace of Ryswyk
  • Rijswijk (Zuid-Holland) 1697
    He took part in the negotiations that led to the Peace of Rijswijk, which made possible the revival of the trade treaty of 1678
  • Den Haag 1701
    In 1701 Louis XIV sends Jean-Antoine de Mesmes to the Dutch Republic for the second time, to stand in for Ambassador Gabriel de Briord, who had fallen ill. He went from Paris to The Hague, passing in the Southern Netherlands while the Maréchal de Boufflers as in the meantime occupying the border fortresses. He arrived on 12 February 1701 and stayed till August, when the hostilities of the War of the Spanish Succession broke out. De Mesmes retuned home.
  • Parijs 1701 - 1709
    Ever since 1704 he devoted himself to rebuild his country house at Roissy. He never saw it completed, as he died in Paris on 10 February 1709
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Creation date: 2021-09-28; Last modified date: 2022-04-07


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