Guillaume Budé (1467–1540)

Jean Clouet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 612

Clouet’s portrait of the librarian to the king of France combines many features typically included in pictures of Renaissance intellectuals such as books, a quill pen, and a learned inscription. Budé affixes us with his gaze, as though we have interrupted him in his work. The Greek text he has written offers erudite viewers a sober admonition: "While it seems to be good to get what one desires, the greatest good is not to desire what one does not need."

Guillaume Budé (1467–1540), Jean Clouet (French, active by 1516–died 1540/41 Paris), Oil on wood

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