- Museum number
Cameo; onyx; double cameo; obverse: brown stratum with bust of Francis I of France, facing, wearing flat hat with feather and open coat, over pleated and embroidered tunic; reverse: in white stratum, bust of his consort, Eleonora of Portugal, in similar hat, and wearing a dress cut square across the breast, surface much abraded; mounted in plain gold frame with loop.
- Production date
Length: 1.50 inches
- Curator's comments
- Associated dates : 1515-1547 (Francis I).
Text from Dalton 1915, Catalogue of Engraved Gems:
Mounted in a plain gold frame with loop.
The surface of no. 377 (Eleanora) is much abraded.
C. Davenport, Cameos, p. 18; Burlington Magazine, xxiv, 1913, p. 32.
It would be interesting to connect these portraits with Matteo del Nazzaro, but our knowledge of that artist's work is hardly sufficient to admit of this; the face does not agree too well with the profile portraits on Nazzaro's coins and medals (H. de la Tour, Matteo del Nazzaro, Rev. Numismatique, 1893, pl. xiii; Armand, Les médailleurs italiens des xve et xvie siècles, i, p. 153). or with the cameo in the Cabinet des Médailles (E. Babelon, Catalogue des Camées, no. 780, p. 334, and Histoire de la gravure sur gemmes en France, pl. ix, fig. 3). Moreover, though the faces have much character, the treatment of the queen's arms and hands is somewhat careless. The portrait of Eleanora may be compared with the profile likeness on a contemporary medal.
The French collection also contains an intaglio representing Francis (Chabouillet, no. 2485; Rev. Numismatique, 1893, pl. xiii); and there is a cameo portrait in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg (no. 5514).
- On display (G46/dc5/p3/no1)
- Exhibition history
2016-17 Sept-Jan, BM, 'French Portrait Drawings' (no cat)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number