About this artwork

This aristocratic lady, shown in three-quarter view, rests her hands on a ledge, enhancing the illusion that she appears to exist in believable space. It also draws attention to her many rings. The portrait was probably painted in 1525, the year that Marie d'Assigny married Jean de Crequi, sire de Canaples. The painting is close in character to a drawing by Clouet (now in Chantilly) which bears an inscription identifying the sitter as Madame de Canaples, a lady at the court of François I.

Jean Clouet

Jean Clouet

Clouet became chief painter to the French court and was required to produce a wide variety of works, including elegant, meticulously detailed royal portraits. In this respect he may have been following an established family tradition, for his father was probably painter to the Duke of Burgundy. The family was Flemish in origin and Clouet worked in Tours before arriving in Paris. As principal painter to Francis I, he was involved in many decorative ceremonial projects.