Nicolas de Largillière was a painter born in Paris, France.
Largillière's father, a merchant, took him to Antwerp at the age of three. As a boy, he spent nearly two years in London. Sometime after his return to Antwerp, a failed attempt at business led him to the studio of Anton Goubau. However, Largillière left at the age of eighteen and went to England, where he was befriended and employed by Peter Lely for four years at Windsor, Berkshire.
His painting caught the attention of Charles II, who wished to retain Largillière in his service, but the controversy aroused by the Rye House Plot against Roman Catholics alarmed Largillière. Largillière left for Paris, where he was well received by the public as a painter.
Upon ascending to the throne in 1685, James II requested Largillière to return to England. James II offered Largillière the office of keeper of the royal collections, but he declined due to being uneasy about Rye House Plot. However, during a short stay in London, he painted portraits of the king, the queen Mary of Modena, and the prince of Wales James Francis Edward Stuart.
Largillière was appointed as chancellor of the French Academy in 1743.