(b. 1485/90, Bruxelles, d. 1541, Paris)

Guillaume Budé

c. 1536
Oil on wood, 39,7 x 34,3 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Jean Clouet, who was probably from the Netherlands, worked at the French court from 1516 and rose to the position of chief painter to King Francis I. His portraits were highly praised by his contemporaries and were notable for both their delicacy and their force of characterization. Guillaume Budé (1467-1540), a famous humanist, was the founder of the Collège de France, the first keeper of the royal library (now the Bibliothèque Nationale), an ambassador, and chief city magistrate of Paris. This portrait is mentioned in Budé's manuscript notes and is Jean Clouet's only documented painting.