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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of French Renaissance painters.

Jean Clouet. Died c. 1500. He is identified as the Master of Moulins.

Jean Clouet. Born c. 1475 in Holland; died c. 1540–41 in Paris.

Jean Clouet painted portraits, which are distinguished for faithful characterization, uniformity of the stiff formal poses, bright pure tones, and punctilious execution (for example, Francis I, c. 1525–30, Louvre, Paris). He is also known for his drawings in Italian pencil and sanguine. These drawings, executed in a severe graphic manner, treated the model objectively and served as preliminary sketches for oil portraits (for example, Madame de Lautrec, Musée Condé, Chantilly). In 1523, Clouet became the first court painter of Francis I.

François Clouet. Born c. 1505–10 in Tours; died Sept. 22, 1572, in Paris. Son and pupil of Jean Clouet; court painter of Francis I and his successors from 1540.

Françoise Clouet’s portraits were saturated with color and were relatively free in composition (for example, Henry II, 1559, Uffizi Gallery, Florence; Pierre Quthe, 1562, and Elizabeth of Austria, c. 1571—both in the Louvre, Paris). In addition to creating brilliant characterizations of his sitters, Clouet expressed with virtuosity various representative qualities, such as calm majestic poses and magnificent costumes. His elegant and restrained pencil portraits, with subtle and tender modeling, were also important—for example, Charles IX (1566) and Madame d’Andelot, both in the Hermitage in Leningrad. Clouet’s portraits were among the greatest achievements of the French Renaissance.

Each of these three artists was also known as Janet Clouet.


Mal’tseva, N. Klue. Moscow, 1963.
Moreau-Nélaton, E. Les Clouet et leurs émules, 3 vols. Paris, 1924.
Mellen, P. Jean Clouet. New York, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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