Portrait of Princess Marguerite de Valois

Retrato da Princesa Margarida de Valois

François Clouet (1505-1510 – 1572)

Oil on oak

Inventory sheet

Dated 1561, this small work depicts a 16th century French court figure, Princess Marguerite de Valois (1553-1615), done by one of the most prestigious French painters of the time, François Clouet. It was considered one of the greatest works in João Allen’s collection, along with another related painting, the Portrait of Henry II, by the same artist and dated 1559, which is also in the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

Princess Marguerite, who would have been eight years old at the time, is depicted in half-length on a black background, with dark hair combed into fine braids and decorated with pearls. Her dress dominates the composition due to the exuberance and richness of its embroidery.