1500s,  art,  Renaissance

Free resources for learning about French portrait artists

I’m addicted to Francois Clouet’s work, probably because I’ve seen it so often that it seems “normal” to me.  The last time I went to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, I almost had a panic attack until I got to the Renaissance era paintings. (hashtag: “sad”).

You can spend hours doing a Google search of the portraits sketched and painted by both Clouets.  Unfortunately, if you want to find books with beautiful full- color plates, you’ll have to spend some money.  If you’re short on cash, there are a few books that give an overview of the Clouet’s lives at French court.

Most of the books are written in French, obviously, but if you’re willing to give it a go, start with these volumes:

The French National Library’s guide to the Clouets and their work.

The Clouets:  Official Painters of the Kings of France.

The Clouets: A Critical Biography.

Essay on French Portrait Artists of the Renaissance.

I hear you, if I spend too much time translating, my head begins to hurt.  Still, there are a few English-langue sources to consult:

Sources in English:

The Renaissance of Art in France.

Guide to the Wallace Collection.

That’s a quick list of the books that are currently in the public domain that detail the lives and work of the most famous portrait painters of the French Renaissance.  If you’re looking for more, there are several works for sale at Amazon and other online sellers.

The portrait at the beginning of this post is Claude de Beaune, aunt of Charlotte de Beaune, the infamous Madame de Savue.  My upcoming The Valois Mistress traces Charlotte’s life from her early days at French court to her career as one of the most famous courtesans in French history.  If you want to learn about the upcoming release and get notified when new books are coming out, sign up to my newsletter. You’ll even get a FREE BOOK in the process.