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King Henri II of France, (1519-1559)

after François Clouet (Tours c.1516 – Paris 1572)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1800 - 1899

Materials

Oil on panel

Measurements

356 x 203 mm (14 x 8 in)

Place of origin

France

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Collection

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire, East of England, National Trust

NT 515445

Caption

This portrait forms a pair with that of Charles IX, also at Anglesey Abbey. They are reductions after originals by Clouet in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. They show the type of portrait favoured by the European courts in the first half of the 16th century, where figures are shown full-length with one leg bearing the weight of the body, often with one hand on the hip, or resting on a piece of furniture, and the other hanging at the side, holding gloves or a sword hilt. The artist who started this trend was Jakob Seisenegger (1505-1567) with his portrait of Charles V. Within a few years both Titian and Clouet had imitated it, and the style was also taken up in England after William Scrots had popularized it. Clouet’s portraits, which are extremely delicate and distinguished, are admirable examples of court painting in France in the sixteenth century.

Summary

Oil painting on panel, King Henri II of Fance (1519-1559), after François Clouet (Tours c.1516 – Paris 1572), 19th century. A full-length portrait, standing in an interior, looking at spectator, slightly to the left. He has short cropped hair, dark moustache and beard. His left hand is on his hip, and he carries his gloves in his right hand. He is wearing a black, gold-brocaded doublet with a gold chain round his neck, a cloak and a cap, and carrying a sword. Long green curtains and decorative floor are depicted in detail. This portrait of Henri II forms a pair with that of Charles IX, and are reductions after originals by Francois Clouet in the Louvre. They show the type of portrait favoured by the European courts in the first half of the 16th century, where figures are shown full-length with one leg bearing the weight of the body, often with one hand on the hip or resting on a piece of furniture and the other hanging at the side holding gloves or a sword hilt. The background often shows richly decorative interiors. The artist who started this trend was Jakob Seisenegger (1505-1567) with his portrait of Charles V. Within a few years both Titian and Clouet had imitated it, and the style was also taken up in England after William Scrots had popularized it. Henri II: (31 Mar 1519-10 July 1559) King of France (1547), whose reign was important in foreign affairs for continuation and end of Habsburg-Valois wars; and in home affairs for continued growth of absolutism, and for intensification of measures against Huguenots, who nevertheless grew in numbers.

Provenance

Collection of Charles Sauvageot (1781-1860), of the Ecole Royale de Musique. His collections went to Louvre by gift in 1856, 4 years before his death, but there was a posthumous sale on 3 May 1860, which included paintings, lot 47 - Janet, dit Clouet - Henri II et Charles IX; Hamilton Palace Sale of miniatures, 13th day, 15th July 1882, lot 1651 - portraits of Henri II, Henri III, Charles IX, Catherine de Medicis, le Grand Dauphin, Claude de France - six small whole-lengths by Janet, in tortoiseshell frames, bought by W. King; Sale Charpentier, Paris 21 Dec 1955, lot 20; Captain Bertram Currie, Dingley Hall; date of acquisition by Lord Fairhaven unknown; bequeathed to the National Trust by Huttleston Rogers Broughton, 1st Lord Fairhaven (1896-1966) with the house and the rest of the contents.

Credit line

Anglesey Abbey, The Fairhaven Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Recto: Inscribed gilt tablet affixed to bottom of frame:1528 King Henry II of France 1559. c. 1516 F. Janet c. 1593. From the W. Bentinck L. Hawkins collection, from the Hamilton Palace collection.

Makers and roles

after François Clouet (Tours c.1516 – Paris 1572), artist

References

Dimier 1904: L. Dimier, French Painting in the Sixteenth Century, London, 1904, p.137. Antique Collector, December 1951: The Antique Collector, Vol.22, No.6, December, 1951, p.234 Dictionnaire des Donateurs du Louvre, p.317. [Part I] Dictionnaire des Donateurs du Louvre, p.317 [Part II. Conclusion.] Auerbach 1949 Erna Auerbach, ‘Notes on some Northern Mannerist Portraits’, Burlington Magazine, XCI, Aug 1949, p.221:

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