Portrait of a Man Wearing the Order of the Annunziata of Savoy
? French Painter (first quarter 16th century)
Oil on wood
14 1/4 x 11 in. (36.2 x 27.9 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Not on view
?duc de Mailly; ?comte de Montbrison, Paris and château de Saint Roch, near Toulouse; Charles-Léon Cardon, Brussels (by 1912–d. 1920; his estate sale, Fievez, Brussels, June 27–30, 1921, as "Portrait du vicomte Bastien de Martigues," by François Clouet); [Kleinberger, New York, in 1925]; Michael Friedsam, New York (by 1927–d. 1931)
Brussels. Hôtel Goffinet. "Exposition de la miniature," March–July 1912, no. 2051a (as "Le vicomte Bastien de Martigues, officier de François Ier," Franco-Flemish School, 16th century, lent by M. Ch. Léon Cardon, Brussels).
New York. F. Kleinberger Galleries. "Loan Exhibition of French Primitives and Objects of Art," October 17–November 12, 1927, no. 44 (as "Portrait of a Prince of the House of Savoie," by Jean Clouet, lent by Colonel M. Friedsam).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.
Venaria Reale, Italy. Reggia di Venaria Reale. "La Reggia di Venaria e i Savoia: arte, magnificenza e storia di una corte europea," October 12, 2007–March 30, 2008, no. 3.21 (as "Ritratto di cavaliere dell'Annunziata [Francesco di Lussemburgo Saint Pol, visconte di Martigues]," by a painter active in Savoy).
A Collection of Ancient Paintings, Objects of Art and Modern Paintings. New York, 1925, unpaginated, unnumbered, ill., as "Portrait of vicomte Bastien de Martigues," by François Clouet, at Kleinberger Galleries.
Louis Réau in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], pp. 162–63 [same text as Exh. New York 1927], as "Portrait of a Prince of the House of Savoie," by Jean Clouet; suggests that the sitter might be Duke Charles III.
Robert Allerton Parker. "Jean Clouet at the Court of Francis I." International Studio 89 (February 1928), p. 41, ill.
Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 10–11, no. 6, ill., identify the sitter as Charles III, Duke of Savoy, based on circumstantial evidence and also on his resemblance to a portrait in the gallery at Turin; attribute the picture to an unknown artist of the French school; date it to the middle of the reign of François I (1515–47) but call it "cruder and more vigorous" than the works of that monarch's court painters.
Katharine Grant Sterne. "The French Primitives in the Friedsam Collection." Parnassus 4 (January 1932), pp. 8–9, supports an identification of the sitter as Charles III; sees a resemblance to the work of Andrea del Castagno and Andrea del Verrocchio.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 210–11, ill., attribute it to an unknown Swiss painter and date it about 1525; note a resemblance to three portraits dated 1523 and 1524 and signed with the initials HF, "ascribed by Paul Ganz either to the glass painter Hans Funk who worked in Berne at this time or to one of his sons".
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 496, no. 1319, ill. p. 495.
Rosita Levi Pisetzky. Storia del costume in italia. Vol. 3, Milan, 1966, pp. 209, 214, pl. 115, calls it a portrait of Charles III painted by an unknown artist in about 1530; mistakenly states that the badge on the sitter's hat also depicts the Annunciation.
Yvonne Hackenbroch. Letter to Keith Christiansen. January 25, 1990, identifies the sitter as René (Renato), illegitimate son of Philippe II of Savoy, who died at the Battle of Pavia in 1525; mistakenly refers to the saint on the badge as Margaret.
Yvonne Hackenbroch. Letter to Keith Christiansen. February 26, 1990, explains the significance of the badge of Saint Barbara in the sitter's cap by noting that Barbara is the patron saint of artillery and "cannonières" and that René de Savoy (whom she identifies as the sitter) led the armies of François I; dates the picture between 1518 and 1525.
Yvonne Hackenbroch. Enseignes. Florence, 1996, pp. 33, 36, figs. 34, 34a (overall and detail), confirms her identification of the sitter as René de Savoy; attributes the picture to an unidentified Franco-Swiss painter and dates it about 1520, specifically between 1519, the year of the formal rededication of the Order of the Annunciation, and 1525, the year of René's death.
Frédéric Elsig inLa Renaissance en Savoie: Les arts au temps du duc Charles II (1504–1553). Exh. cat., Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. Geneva, 2002, pp. 81–82, fig. 7, describes it as of high quality, apparently the work of an artist of Flemish origin; places it in the 1520s and characterizes it as a stylistic mix of Flanders and the Piedmont, close to Macrino d'Alba, the Master of San Martino Alfieri, and the Master of the Lamentation in the church of Sant'Agostino, Turin.
Massimiliano Caldera inLa Reggia di Venaria e i Savoia: arte, magnificenza e storia di una corte europea. Ed. Enrico Castelnuovo. Exh. cat., Reggia di Venaria Reale. Turin, 2007, pp. 63–64, no. 321, ill. (color), dates it about 1520–30; notes that Tomaso Ricardi—based on the inscription on the reverse—identifies the subject as Francesco di Lussemburgo Saint Pol, viscount of Martigues, brother of Luisa di Savoia and cousin of Dukes Filiberto II and Charles II di Savoia; notes that Martigues was governor of Savoy and was made knight of the Annunciation by Charles II in 1518; believes the "mr. de Mercuer" referred to in the inscription is Filippo Emanuele di Lorena, duca di Mercoeur (1558–1602), who married a nephew of the viscount; finds the attention to detail and the clarity of light more characteristic of a Northern artist than a painter from Piedmont.
The sitter wears the collar of the Order of the Annunziata of (Annunciation) of Savoy, and in his cap is the badge of Saint Barbara. He was identified In the Brussels exhibition of 1912 (see Exhibitions) as Bastien, vicomte de Martigues, as Charles III (1486–1553), Duke of Savoy (see Burroughs and Wehle 1932), and as René (d. 1525), illegitimate son of Philippe II, comte de Bresse (see Hackenbroch 1996). More recently Tomaso Ricardi (see Caldera 2007) has identified him as Francesco di Lussemburgo Saint Pol, visconte di Martigues, brother of Luisa of Savoy and cousin of Dukes Filiberto II and Charles II of Savoy.