Philippe de Champaigne born in a poor, young family he refuses to integrate the workshop of Rubens into Antwerp. It is a pupil of Fouquieres, painter landscape designer in Brussels. It wishes to visit Rome but stops in Paris in 1621, is fixed at the Latin Quarter with the College of Laon where it binds friendship with Nicolas Poussin and works at the Manieriste Georges Lallemand and Nicolas Duchesne, of which he marries the girl in 1628. It leaves the workshop of Georges Lallemand about 1625 and starts to work for its account. Having regained Brussels he is pointed out one year later by Claude Maugis, intendant of the buildings of Marie de Medicis to take part in the decoration of the Palais of Luxembourg, whose showpieces are a series of large tables reporting the life of the silent partner by Rubens. Champaigne painted there several frescos of the ceilings. It also decorates the Carmel with the Faubourg Saint-Jacob, one of the preferred building sites of the queen mother. The church was destroyed at the time of the French revolution but several tables, preserved in museums, could belong to original decoration ( Presentation with the temple in Dijon, Resurrection of Lazare to Grenoble, Assomption of the Virgin in Louvre).
After the death of its guard Duchesne, he works for the queen mother, Marie de Medicis, like for Richelieu. He is the only painter authorized to paint the Cardinal of Richelieu out of dress of cardinal: he represents it eleven times. He is, with Simon Vouet, one of the two most famous painters of the kingdom. He receives in 1629 his "letters of naturality". He decorates the Palate-Cardinal, the dome of the vault of the Sorbonne and other buildings in Paris, of which the church Saint-Germain-the Auxerrois. He makes several tables for the cathedral Our-Lady-of-Paris of which its wish of Louis XIII, going back to 1638. He also draws there several paperboards for tapestries. Its talents deserve to him the place of first painter of the queen and a pension of 1200 pounds. He is received in 1648 founding member of the royal Academie of painting and sculpture. Starting from 1648, it approaches the mediums Jansenists and becomes the painter of Port-Royal in Paris, then of Port-Royal-of-Fields where it carries out a series of tables.
After 1654, it runs up against the competition of Charles Le Brun. It decorates the apartment with Anne of Austria to the Valley-of-Grace as well as the refectory of this hospital ( the Meal at Simon the pharisee , 1656, Nantes, being largest of the five tables planned for the place). It is named professor in 1655. In 1657, it paints a series of three large tables for the Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais church of Paris on the life of the two saints of which the Apparition with Saint Ambroise and the translation of the bodies of the two saints , two fabrics being with the museum of Louvre. Starting from 1654, it takes part in the decoration of the Tuileries, this time under the direction of Charles Le Brun.
At the end of its life, its teaching activity becomes more important: even if no writing remains with its hand, there exist transcriptions of several of its conferences, published by Andre Felibien in 1668. It comments on there several works of which those of the Titien, thus taking part in the debate between colourists and draftsmen and preaching a moderate attitude.