European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Portrait of Francis I, King of France
Known in several versions; this is probably the earliest
Joos van Cleve, Netherlandish (active Antwerp and France), first documented 1511, died 1540/41
Oil on panel
Cat. 769John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelFrancis I possibly commissioned this portrait in connection with his second marriage, to Eleanor of Austria, or in commemoration of a meeting with King Henry VIII of England. During his long reign (1515-1547) Francis established France as a center of the arts and attracted many famous artists to his court, including Leonardo da Vinci, whose last years were spent there.
* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.