A Young French Noblewoman

Claude Deruet
1588 – 1660

A Young French Noblewoman

Painted circa 1625

Oil on panel: 12 5/8 x 10 1/8 inches, 31.5 x 25.3 cm

Provenance

  • Robert Lehman (1891-1972), New York, donated 1944 to;
  • The Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA;
  • De-accessioned 1998

Literature

  • The Weiss Gallery, illustrious company. a catalogue of early portraits 1545-1720, 1998, no.13.

Deruet was apprenticed to Jacques Bellange, the official court painter to Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. He travelled to Rome around 1612 and stayed there until 1619, where - according to André Félibien - he studied with the painter and etcher Antonio Tempesta. It was during this period that he famously painted the Japanese samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga, who was on an ambassadorial visit to Europe in 1615.
Deruet returned to his native Nancy by 1620 and was soon much in demand as a portraitist of and painter for the fashionable elite, with his smooth mannerist style. Cardinal Richelieu was among his most influential patrons, and he was enobled by the Duke of Lorraine in 1621. In 1625 – 1626 the young Claude Lorrain worked as Deruet’s assistant. In 1645 he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Michel by Louis XIII, who had in 1641 absorbed most of Lorraine into France. Deruet lived in great opulence, with a luxurious residence in Nancy, which he named La Romaine in tribute to his Roman sojourn, and where Louis XIII and his Queen stayed in 1633. His best known works are four vast allegorical scenes representing the Elements, painted c.1640, painted for Richelieu and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orléans.

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