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Title:Portrait of a Dwarf
Artist:Style of Corneille de Lyon (French, second quarter 16th century)
Medium:Oil on wood
Dimensions:5 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (14.6 x 12.1 cm)
Credit Line:The Bequest of Michael Dreicer, 1921
comte de Montbrison, château de St. Roch; Mrs. Chauncey J. Blair, Chicago (by 1914–16; sold to Kleinberger); [Kleinberger, New York, 1916; sold to Dreicer]; Michael Dreicer, New York (1916–d. 1921)
New York. Arden Gallery. 1914–15, no catalogue? (probably lent by Mrs. Chauncy J. Blair) [see Arts and Decoration 1914/15].
Buffalo, N.Y. Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. "The 'Mary Blair' Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Art," 1915, no. 61 (as "Portrait, presumably of Triboulet, Jester of Francis I," school of Corneille de Lyon, sixteenth century, lent by Mrs. Chauncey J. Blair).
"New York's Educational Private Gallery." Arts and Decoration 5 (1914/15), pp. 253–54, ill. p. 239, reviews an exhibition at the Arden Gallery, New York, largely made up of pictures from the collection of Mrs. Chauncey J. Blair, and captions the illustration of our painting "'Contemporaneous Portrait of Francis I's' by Jester Friboulet [sic]".
H. B. W[ehle]. "The Michael Dreicer Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17 (May 1922), p. 102, as by Corneille.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 20.
Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 39–40, ill., calls it "Manner of Corneille de Lyon" and notes that it could well be a copy of a lost painting by Corneille, made in his shop; believes the original, if by Corneille, was one of his early works, as the costume is from the 1530s and "the simulated shadows of the frame and the body are characteristic of that period".
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 355, ill.
Anne Dubois de Groër. Corneille de La Haye dit Corneille de Lyon. Paris, 1996, pp. 183–85, no. 82, ill., calls it "A Court Jester" and identifies the sitter as "maître Martin," who worked in the court of the dauphin, and for whom a costume was commissioned at Lyon in 1536 [see Notes]; finds the shape of the hat also appropriate for the year 1536; remarks that the jester's costume is very similar to that worn by young princes; considers the head very well painted and the features very animated, observing that although the sitter was a dwarf, the painter seems to have artificially shortened the length of the arms in order to allow the hands to appear in the portrait.
Dubois de Groër (1996) has called the sitter maître Martin, identifying him with the court jester for whom a costume was commissioned in Lyon in 1536: "A ung fol nommé Maistre Martin, dict Le Bailly [the bailiff?], de la maison de Messeigneurs les daulphin, ducz d'Orléans et d'Angoulesme, pour luy fair habillement pour son service a ce qu'il soit plus honnestement habillé pres et autour des personnes de nosdicts seigneurs, le tout suivant lettres patentes du roy nostre seigneur données a Lyon le 18e jour de juillet 1536." [see comptes de l'Argenterie du roi, Archives Nationales, KK 91, folio 239 verso, cited by A. Jal, Dictionnaire critique de biographie et d'histoire, Paris, 1867, p. 601]
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