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See the Cleves sisters in their original form

In case you weren’t aware, the women on the covers of the Three Graces Trilogy are not the actual Cleves sisters.  I’d love to be able to say that was due to plain laziness, but the reason not to feature them on the covers was a practical one.  Consider their portraits:

Marie of Cleves by Clouet

Henriette of Cleves by Clouet

This is the only surviving portrait of Henriette that I can locate.  It’s inspired me to describe her with frizzy and uncontrollable hair in Almost a Queen and Lady of the Court.  She always struck me as the most pragmatic of the Cleves sisters, so I loved the contrast of having to deal with unruly curls in her hair.

Catherine of Cleves by Unknown

I have found three portraits of Catherine of Cleves.  Unlike her sisters, she eventually returned to French court after Henry IV took the throne.  The first portrait hangs in her Chateau d’Eu in Normandy.  She travels there in Fate’s Mistress.

She may look quite stout to me, but keep in mind that this indomitable woman survived fourteen pregnancies.  I’d say she looks great considering her body went through all of that stress.  I don’t know who the artist was, but the next two portraits are traditionally credited to Francois Clouet.

 

The actual portraits are tiny- and by tiny I mean small enough to fit into a modern woman’s handbag.  To give you an idea, this is an image of the Clouet room at the Louvre.

Clouet room at the Louvre

This room is stop number one whenever I make it back to the Louvre.  I’m sure there will be lots of fangirl squealing when I get there.  I might not stay in the Louvre for very long if that happens.

Before you go, grab a FREE copy of Safe in My Arms, a Three Graces story here.  Because marriage can be murder.

 

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