Rare portrait of Diane de Poitiers.
The Duchess of Valentinois is represented in three quarters, in half-bust.
She is lavishly dressed in a black velvet dress embellished with sable fur and pearls to match her necklace, while her hair is covered with a matching headdress.
This magnificent dress is her mourning outfit following the death of her husband Louis de Brézé in 1531.
In keeping with the works of François Clouet, she is depicted in the fashion of the time, with a slightly elongated forehead and a white complexion highlighting her beautiful blue eyes.
The top title in gold letters: "Diane de P… .Duchesse D… .."; the missing parts probably rubbed with the revolution to conceal the identity of the royal mistress.
Oil on canvas, good condition, wear in the funds and in the borders.
Louis XIV carved oak frame.
French school from the beginning of the 17th century after a drawing by François Clouet.
The drawing and a version of the studio in the Condé Museum in the Chateau de Chantilly.
Diane of Poitiers (1500-1566)
Born around 1500, probably in the Drome, Diane is the eldest daughter of Count Jean de Saint-Vallier, Lord of Poitiers (this name has nothing to do with the capital of Poitou; it designates a former marquisate of Provence, Peytieu, Poitiers in langue d'oïl!).
She was married at 16 to the Grand Seneschal of Normandy Louis de Brézé, 40 years older than her. It is under the name of Diane de Brézé that she is henceforth known to her contemporaries. His father is involved in spite of himself in the conspiracy of the Constable of Bourbon, stripped of his property and condemned to death, finally pardoned with extreme justice on the scaffold.
Diane escapes the consequences of this paternal misstep. Widowed at 32, she is a woman of great culture and blooming beauty. She tenderly takes care of the sons of King François I.
The second, Henri d'Orléans, experienced captivity in Madrid and kept a great melancholy. He finds comfort in this superior woman who is twenty-one years older than himself. Diane went so far as to arrange her marriage with Catherine de Medici in 1533. But things did not end there and Diane became around 1536 Henri's mistress!
After the death of François 1er, March 31, 1547, Diane takes her revenge on the last mistress of the late king, Anne de Pisseleu, Duchess of Etampes. The new king made her Duchess of Valentinois and offered her the Château de Chenonceau, on the Cher.
The setbacks occur after the fatal tournament which costs the life of her royal lover. Catherine de Medici, who became regent of the kingdom, takes her revenge after long years of obliteration. The former favorite is exiled to her castle in Anet. It was there that she died on September 22, 1566, at the age of 66 or 67.
François Clouet (around 1505 / 1510-1572)
We do not know the exact date of birth of François Clouet, son of Jean Clouet (1475 / 85-1541), portrait painter at the court of François I, and of Jeanne Boucault. Like his father, he is nicknamed Janet or Jehannet, which for a long time created confusion between the works of the two artists. François was of course trained by his father and, on his father's death, succeeded him as painter and valet de chambre to the king. His activity as a portrait painter began at the end of the decade 1530-40 and the royal accounts mention him in 1540. He will benefit from the protection of Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), wife of King Henry II, which will allow him to remain until his death in 1572, the official portrait painter of the kings of France. He will therefore serve four kings: François Ier first, who reigned until 1547, then Henri II (reign from 1547 to 1559), François II (reign from 1559 to 1560) and finally Charles IX (reign from 1560 to 1574) . His activity in the service of royalty is not limited to portraits. He must also do decorative work for the king.
This function of portrait painter of the king is very prestigious and François Clouet enjoys great financial ease because his position as painter of the king allows him to benefit from many advantages. In addition to a fixed remuneration of 240 tournament pounds, he sometimes receives exceptional bonuses from the king. He is also credited with annuities from the Hôtel de Ville de Paris or from various stores and salt lofts.
François Clouet did not get married. He had several children, including two twins with Jeanne Le Borgne: Diane and Lucrèce baptized in 1563. He died in 1572, leaving by will to each of his two daughters an income of 600 livres tournois on the Town Hall of Paris.
Price : on request
Price : on request