Not currently on display at the V&A

Portrait of Francois Hercule, Duc d'Alencon (1554-1584)

Miniature
ca. 1570 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto plain card, depicting François Hercule


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum, mounted on card
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of François Hercule, Duc d'Alencon (1554-1584) from the school of François Clouet. French School, ca. late 16th century.
Physical Description
Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto plain card, depicting François Hercule
Dimensions
  • Sight size, oval height: 43mm
  • Sight size, oval width: 35mm
Object history
Item Provenance: The estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K.C.M.G., O.B.E. Added to the collection by Lewis Harcourt in 1907.



This miniature is one of a group of 10 originally displayed in two frames. Nine of the group were acquired by the V&A (E.1170-1178-1988), while the tenth, of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, by Nicholas Hilliard, is now held by the National Portrait Gallery, London. The complex provenance of this group is described in an article by Sir Roy Strong, "The Leicester House Miniatures", Burlington Magazine, CXXVII, October 1988. However, this miniature and E.1175-1988 were only added to this group in the early 20th century and are not referred to by Strong. A miniature in oil on copper of the same sitter by Francois Clouet is also in the collection (623-1882)
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
The following in an excerpt from a valuation report made by Christie's of the estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K. C. M. G., O. B. E. "In known drawings of this famous French duke there appear to be two different representations, one showing him with a thin face and a hint of a beard, the other showing him with a fatter face, small moustache and no beard (see Auberach Hilliard, p. 74-79, figs. 36, 37, and 41) this relates to the first type. Hilliard is known to have painted this sitter when he was in France 1576-78/9, and this was probably painted during the same period."
Collection
Accession Number
E.1176-1988

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record createdNovember 24, 2008
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