Attributed to Corneille de Lyon (Netherlandish, active by 1533, died 1575)
Oil on wood; 7 x 5 5/8 in. (17.8 x 14.3 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.197)
Renowned for her brilliance and beauty, Anne de Pisseleu was mistress of Francis I, king of France. She was introduced to the court in 1526, and was called by her admirers "the most beautiful among the learned and the most learned among the beautiful," in homage to her interest in art and literature. A supporter of the Protestant Reformation in France, she played an important political role in the relations between Francis I and Emperor Charles V. She was first known by her family name d'Heilly, but after her marriage in 1536 to Jean de Brosse, who thereupon received the title Duke d'Étampes, she took on the title of duchess. She can be identified by the inscriptions on several early copies after this portrait, and by the ornament in the shape of an A (for Anne) dangling from the thin chain around her neck.