François I’ taste for Italian art may be well known and his patronage primarily recognized by the creation of an Italian school at Fontainebleau, but his reign was equally marked by a vigorous tradition of Dutch artists settling in France.
A whole segment of the French Renaissance is now resurfacing; and this exhibition sets out to reveal its many varied facets, its extravagance, and its monumental character.
By purchasing a great deal of Dutch tapestries, gold- and silverware, and paintings, François I played a central role in promoting emerging artists from the Netherlands. The most prominent of these artists active in France at the time, Jean Clouet and Corneille de la Haye (known as Corneille de Lyon, were portrait specialists. The exhibition will offer an exceptional presentation of the painted oeuvre of Jean Clouet (only around 10 panels are confirmed to be by the artist) alongside a few preparatory drawings sketched from nature.
As well as Paris, the Norman, Picard, Champagne, and Burgundian centers were swept by a wave of Northern influences (from Antwerp, Brussels, Leiden, Haarlem) in the art of manuscript illumination and religious painting. Recent research has gradually revealed painters unjustly forgotten by history; to name but a few, Godefroy le Batave, Noel Bellemare, Grévoire Guérard, and Bartholomeus Pons, who excelled in media as diverse as illumination, painting, stained glass, tapestry and sculpture.
Exhibition curator: Cécile Scailliérez, Senior Curator, Department of Paintings, Musée du Louvre.
This exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of DS Automobiles and the International Council of the Louvre.