The sitter was one of the great statesmen of the court of King Louis XIV of France. The only legitimate son of the King's famous mistress, Mme de Montespan, by her husband, Louis-Henri, marquis de Montespan. Born in Paris in 1665, he became Lieutenant-General of the armies of the king in 1702, Governor of the Orleanais, Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi after the death of Mansart in 1708, as well as being made a lieutenant-general in Alsace, a member of the Conseil de Régence after the death of King Louis XIV in 1715. Having inherited as marquis de Montespan, Gondrin and Mézieres on the death of his father in 1701, he was created duc d'Antin in 1711. He subsequently played an important role as French ambassador in 1725 when he, on behalf of Louis XV, asked for the hand of Marie Leczynska, daughter of the King of Poland. D'Antin's portrait by Rigaud was engraved in 1720 by Nicolas-Henry Tardieu (1674-1749), who was reçu into the Académie Royale on the strength of his version of the composition. Several versions of this composition exist.