Making a final decision on the cover design for The Valois Mistress is driving me around the bend these days. I think that I’m just too attached to Charlotte de Sauve to be partial.
These are the ones that made the final cut.
Why not use her actual portrait?
I really wish that I could. Unfortunately, the colors are so washed out that it won’t show up very well on a cover image. This is Clouet’s portrait of Charlotte:
Not only are they made up of earth tones, they are freaking tiny! Clouet made them to be a 16th century version of school portraits. They started small and portable, for practical reasons. To give you an idea of their scale, look at them displayed at the Louvre:
I made things harder on myself in deciding to make the cover image faithful to how Charlotte has always been described: blonde. Plenty of women dyed their hair and wore wigs to look blonde, but in my research I found that Charlotte apparently got her hair color the honest way. Finding a 16th century portrait of a blonde woman has been like looking for a needle in a haystack.
You can read Charlotte’s story in my upcoming book, The Valois Mistress. Members of my newsletter list get exclusive sneak peek’s and a chance to get the book for free before it’s available to the public. Click here to join the list. You’ll get a FREE book just for signing up!