Exhibition at the Cabinet d'arts graphiques du musée Condé

The Condé Museum has a unique graphic collection, 366 portraits drawn by the two greatest portrait artists of the French Renaissance, Jean and François Clouet. Among them are delicate leaves dedicated to female models, famous Renaissance ladies (such as Renée de France, Eleonore de Habsbourg or Diane de Poitiers) or beautiful unknown women. As a counterpoint to the exhibition "La Joconde nue", presented at the same time at the Jeu de Paume du Domaine de Chantilly (where the reception of this composition by Leonard de Vinci will be discussed by François Clouet), the new graphic arts firm will host, in summer 2019, the first exhibition exclusively dedicated to the female "crayons" of the Clouet. 

The portraits with two or three pencils of Jean (the father) and François (the son) Clouet immortalized the sumptuous court of the Valois. They were exclusively the result of royal commissions from Francis I, Henry II and Catherine de Medici: to pose for these artists was to be given a prominent place in the court. Essential elements of a court civilization, the noble ladies claimed to be officially represented, just like their husbands.

It was a question of fixing their nobility and of inscribing, by their introduction into the cenacle of the portrayed characters, their belonging to a curial society which then established its rules. The portraits drawn of the Clouet contributed to the affirmation of the status and rank of women in a world where their place was growing. If Jean Clouet concentrated his work on the hair, hairstyle and facial resemblance of his models, the clothes and body gained in importance for François. The exhibition will focus on the history of women's clothing and jewellery (such as the introduction of Spanish and Portuguese fashion to the court of Francis I between 1530 and 1536, thanks to the king's marriage to Eleonora of Habsburg), but also on the social uses of clothing by Renaissance ladies.


Commissioner :

Mathieu Deldicque, heritage curator at the Condé Museum


Practical information: 

Location: Graphic arts office of the Condé Museum

Tickets and fares:

Exhibition included in the Domaine ticket at no extra cost

Take advantage of a 10% discount by booking your dated tickets.
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With the support of :