- Museum number
Portrait of François de Scépeaux, Sire de Vieilleville and maréchal de France (1510-1571); half-length turned slightly to left, looking to front, wearing tunic with high, frilled collar and wearing a pendant around his neck, cap with feather and beard. c. 1559 and 1566
Black and red chalk, with touches of yellow wash in a later hand
- Production date
- 1557 (circa. Retouched in c. 1566)
Height: 318 millimetres
Width: 220 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The attribution to François Clouet was suggested by Moreau-Nélaton and, although Dimier doubted this, Zvereva catalogues the drawing as an autograph work by Clouet. She notes the presence of some studio assistance, perhaps in the subsidiary parts of the costume, but more clearly in the form of the later studio reworking.
The sitter was made gentleman of the bedchamber to the dauphin in 1536 and retained this position of trust even when the dauphin succeeded to the throne as King Henri II. He was knighted at the siege of Perpignan in 1541, became a member of the king's Council in 1551 and was appointed as a Chevalier of the Order in 1554. He acted as one of the negotiators for the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559 and also served as ambassador to England and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1562 he was invested as Marechal de France.
There are two surviving paintings which relate to this drawing. The earlier of the two, dated 1557, is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon, and seems to be consistent with the date of the original drawing. A second painting, dated 1566, is in the Clowes Collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (inv. 2004.15), and this second version is consistent with the reworked contours of the drawing. The date 1566 inscribed on the drawing is in a different ink from that of the main inscription. At this date de Sceapeaux's face was aged, his beard shortened and his doublet and cap redrawn to correspond with the latest fashions. He remained an active soldier until he death, fighting in the Wars of Religion and commanding the royal army at the battle of Saint-Jean d'Angely in 1569, only two years before his death at the age of 61.
Zvereva notes that the touches of yellow, which appear to be a light wash, were probably added by a later hand, aiming to enrich the appearance of the drawing. Clouet himself customarily used hatching in red chalk to show where gold should be used and the yellow additions do not fit within his known style of working. The date of this added wash is not clear.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016-17 Sept-Jan, BM, 'French Portrait Drawings' (no cat)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number