1550 Francoise Brézé (1518 - 1574), Duchesse Bouillon, by François Clouet (private collection)


Clouet portrays a well-dressed French lady of the mid 1500s wearing a satin gown and lovely French hood. She was the legitimate daughter of Louis Brézé and Diane de Poitiers. Diane became mistress of Henri II after her husband's death; Diane is the subject of a subalbum.

The dress is very simple compared to others here, but still very luxurious. The pearl strands go under her necklace so the necklace is probably not the edging of a sheer partlet. But I wonder how the shallow necklace was held in place, quite possibly from the sides. I believe gravity would otherwise tug it to a more oval shape. She also wears a partial necklace to ornament the area bared by the crescent neckline of her dress.

The gold bands are set off by fine sawtooth trim.

Keywords:  1550, Clouet - François, Duchess, French, curly coiffure, crescent neckline, French hood, jeweled headdress, partial necklace, shallow necklace, high puffed sleeves

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