King James V of Scotland (1512– 1542)
Corneille de Lyon (The Hague 1500/10 – Lyons 1575)
James V is depicted as a confident young man. He solemnly dominates the canvas in dignified maturity, an impression he was keen to establish, having endured an infamously turbulent minority. He wears a fashionable black doublet, decorated with gold aglets and a white ruff. He also wears the chivalric pendant medallion of the Order of St Michel given to him by Francis I, a visual confirmation of the precious alliance of Scotland to France. Corneille was a highly esteemed painter of the French court, known for his half- and bust-length portraits of aristocratic subjects and for his careful rendering of objects of adornment. As painter to Eleanor of Austria – second wife of Francis I and stepmother to Madeleine de Valois – Corneille was in a privileged position to depict a royal suitor to a French princess. Indeed, it was in 1536 that James V met and soon married Princess Madeleine.
Oil painting on panel, King James V of Scotland (1512–1542), aged 25 by Corneille de Lyon (The Hague 1500/10 – Lyons 1575), c. 1536. A head-and-shoulders portrait of a bearded young man, turned slightly to the left, gazing to the left, wearing a black doublet decorated with gold aglets, and a gold chain and pendant medallion, the Order of St Michel, he has a black hat adorned with a white feather against a green background. Inscribed on the back of the panel: "Le Roi, agé 25".
Wyndham Damer Clark (1884 - 1961), [44?] Belgrave Square, sale, Sotheby's, 19 July 1922, lot 27, bought by Mrs Greville's agent, Tancred Borenius (1885 - 1948); The bequest of Margaret (Anderson) McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald - later Dame Margaret - Henry Fulke Greville, DBE (1863-1942) from probate records linked with the donation of the property to the National Trust in 1943. This item found on the record for Polesden Lacey pictures, drawings etc., stored in the cellar, page 163.
Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
Verso: 'Le Roi age 25' (reputedly, before cradling) Verso: now only a paper label, in ink: W.O. / 7743 / 15/1/36
Makers and roles
Corneille de Lyon (The Hague 1500/10 – Lyons 1575), artist