‘Diane de Poitiers’, 114/250
Hand-colored drypoint etching
40 x 50 cm
Diane de Poitiers (3 September 1499 – 25 April 1566) was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of king Francis I and his son, King Henry II of France. She became notorious as King Henry’s chief mistress and in this role she wielded much influence and power at the French Court, which continued until Henry was mortally wounded in a tournament accident. It was during that tournament that his lance wore her favour (ribbon) rather than his wife’s. More on Diane de Poitiers
Francis I (12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was the first King of France from the Angoulême branch of the House of Valois, reigning from 1515 until his death. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. He succeeded his cousin and father-in-law Louis XII, who died without a son.
A prodigious patron of the arts, he initiated the French Renaissance by attracting many Italian artists to work on the Château de Chambord, including Leonardo da Vinci, who brought the Mona Lisa with him, which Francis had acquired. Francis’ reign saw important cultural changes with the rise of absolute monarchy in France, the spread of humanism and Protestantism, and the beginning of French exploration of the New World. Jacques Cartier and others claimed lands in the Americas for France and paved the way for the expansion of the first French colonial empire. More on Francis I
Henry II (March 1519 – 10 July 1559) was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I, he became Dauphin of France upon the death of his elder brother Francis III, Duke of Brittany, in 1536. More on Henry II
Diane de Poitiers, 1971, From the series XXII/C
Hand-colored drypoint etching
26 × 20 in, 66 × 50.8 cm
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to an “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics. More Salvador Dalí
Workshop of François Clouet, (1510–1572)
Diane de Poitiers Duchess of Valentinois (1499-1566)
Condé Museum, Chantilly
François Clouet (c. 1510 – 22 December 1572), was a French Renaissance miniaturist and painter, particularly known for his detailed portraits of the French ruling family. He was born in Tours. François Clouet studied under his father.
In 1541 the king renounces for the benefit of François his father’s estate, which had escheated to the crown as the estate of a foreigner. The younger Clouet is said to have followed his father very closely in his art. Like his father, he held the office of groom of the chamber and painter in ordinary to the king. Many drawings are attributed to this artist, often without perfect certainty.
As the praises of François Clouet were sung by the writers of the day, his name was carefully preserved from reign to reign, and there is an ancient and unbroken tradition in the attribution of many of his pictures. To him are attributed the portraits of Francis I at the Uffizi and at the Louvre, and various drawings relating to them.
He died on 22 December 1572, shortly after the massacre of St Bartholomew. His daughters subsequently became nuns. More on François Clouet
François Clouet, (1510-1572)
A Lady in Her Bath, probably depicting Diane de Poitiers, circa 1571
Oil on oak
92.3 × 81.2 cm (36.3 × 31.9 in)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.,
The painting represents a family scene in which the mother takes part, sitting in her chestnut wood bathtub. She wears a diadem and a pearl on her forehead. In the background, a curtain recoils perspective, a nurse with coarse features nurses a swaddled infant. In the background, at the back of the room, is a servant who carries a large pot of hot water for the bath. The allegorical analysis of many details (ironic presence of the unicorn fruit cup, symbol of sensual greed with the bunch of grapes, official sign of temporal power). The painting could be an allegory of the three theological virtues: the child would be hope, the nanny would be the nurturing faith and the woman would be naked charity. More on this painting
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