NAIN, LE. The three brothers Le Nain, who have of late attracted much attention, occupy a peculiar position in the history of French art. Although they figure amongst the original members of the French Academy, their works show no trace of the influences which prevailed when that body was founded. Their sober execution and choice of colour recall characteristics of the Spanish school, and when the world of Paris was busy with mythological allegories, and the "heroic deeds" of the king, the three Le Nain devoted themselves chiefly to subjects of humble life such as Boys Playing Cards, The Forge, or The Peasants' Noonday Meal. These three paintings, together with others, amongst which is the noble Procession in the Interior of a Church (erroneously attributed to the Le Nain), are now in the Louvre ; various others, may be found in local collections, and some fine drawings may be seen in the British Museum and in the Albertina; but their signature is rare, and is never accompanied by initials which might enable us to distinguish the work of one or other of the brothers. Their lives are lost in obscurity; all that can be affirmed is that they were born at Laon in Picardy early in the 17th century. In 1633 Antoine, the eldest, was admitted painter at Paris ; in 1648 he and his brothers Louis and Mathew were received into the Academy, and in the same year both Antoine and Louis died. Mathew lived on till 1677 ; he bore the title of chevalier, and painted many portraits. Mary of Medici and Mazarin were amongst his sitters, but these works (like his portrait of the unfortunate Cinq Mars, sold by auction at the Palais Royal in 1848) seem to have disappeared. Champfleury has written two works on the brothers Le Nain (1850, 1865).