Skip to main content

Portrait of the Dauphin Francis, Son of Francis I

16th century
Workshop of Jean Clouet, French, c. 1475 - 1540/41
As eldest son of the king of France and heir to the throne, the boy in this painting held the title of dauphin. In the medallion on his hat appears Saint Francis, namesake of the dauphin and his father, Francis I. When Francis I was taken prisoner by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V he exchanged the dauphin for his own freedom. The boy's grandmother reportedly sent a portrait similar to this one to Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish Queen of England, hoping she would use her influence with the Spanish Emperor to obtain the release of the young boy. The dauphin was nevertheless held hostage for years and only released after his father raised enough gold to buy his freedom....

Object Details

We are always learning more about our collection and updating the website. Want to share your knowledge about this work with us? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.