Sunday 6 November 2016

Exhibition – French portrait drawings: Clouet to Courbet

Currently there is a temporary exhibition at the British Museum in Room 90, on the 4th floor, of some beautiful drawings dating from the sixteenth century through to the nineteenth century, some have not been exhibited before.  The exhibition, French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet,  is on until the 29th January 2017. 

As well as the drawings themselves there is also a case of medals and enamels, so that the earliest item in the exhibition is a medal by Jean Lepère, showing King Louis XII of France and his wife Anne of Brittany, 1499.

To the right is the first drawing that appears in the exhibition. It is  by Jean Clouet  (c.1485/90–1540) of an unknown man of c.1535 inscribed, the uncle of the Seigneur de Tavannes, but no longer identified as Jean de Tavanenes. You can just see sketched the gatherings around the top of his shirt and the ties to it. 

Here to the left is another unknown, this time a young girl c.1615 by Daniel Dumonstier (1574-1646). Lovely details are how the collar lays, the bows on her sleeves, and that lovely and unusual necklace. 

For each drawing in the exhibition if you go to the museum’s illustrated handlist, available here, you get the drawing with its description and a link to the Museum’s catalogue record for further information. Do click through, the museum's images are of far better quality than my photographs

Finally below, just to prove it is not all nobility, though most of it is, here is an old man in working dress, attributed to Pierre Biard II (1592–1661).

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