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François Clouet (Tours circa 1515-1572 Paris)
François Clouet (Tours circa 1515-1572 Paris)

Portrait of King Charles IX (1550-1574)

François Clouet (Tours circa 1515-1572 Paris)
Portrait of King Charles IX (1550-1574)
inscribed 'Le Roy charles quand il eust/dix ans' and dated '1561' and with inscription '9eme' (by a later hand)
black, white and red chalk, retouched by a later hand with bodycolor, on paper laid down on canvas

13¼ x 9 in. (33.6 x 23.9 cm.)
See previous lot.
E. Moreau-Nélaton, Les Clouet et leurs émules, Paris, 1924, II, pp. 98-9, fig. 364; III, p. 151, no. 1.
A. Zvereva, 'Il n'y a rien qui touche guères le coeur des simples personnes que les effigies de leurs princes et seigneurs': la genèse du portrait d'Henri III', in I. de Conihout, J.-F. Maillard and G. Poirier (ed.), Henri III mécène des arts, des sciences et des lettres, Paris, 2006, pp. 61-2.
A. Zvereva, Portraits dessinés de la cour des Valois: Les Clouet de Catherine de Médicis, Paris, 2011, no. 395, illus.
Sale Room Notice
Please note the correct estimate is $15,000-25,000.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

This portrait was made in 1561, the year Charles (1550-1574) became king, succeeding his brother François II (1544-1560). It was used as the official image of the new monarch and was copied many times in different media. A drawn copy from Clouet's studio is in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, and the artist himself used it for his painted portrait of the young king dated 1561, today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (E. Jollet, Jean & François Clouet, Paris, 1997, illus. p. 231). All the subsequent iconography of the king, including Clouet's later portraits, derives from the present portrait, for example Clouet's drawing of 1566 in the Ermitage, Saint-Petersburg, which is adopting the same pose but where the artist has added a nascent beard (Zvereva, op. cit., no. 396). The Venetian ambassador Giovanni Michiel described the young king in 1561 as 'an admirable child, with fine eyes, gracious movements, though he is not robust'.
The present drawing was the only one from the Raevsky group to retain its original inscription (although it has been retouched). Until now, it was known only through a reproduction in Moreau-Nélaton's book on Clouet published in 1924.

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