TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Portrait of Francis I

Oil on canvas, 109 x 89 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Titian never saw Francis I, the king of France (1494—1547). He nonetheless succeeded in painting an impressive portrait of a ruler. The model for his portrait was a medal made by Benvenuto Cellini, showing the king in profile. The erect posture, broad torso and magnificent garments give the portrait a regal air. The flat hat with its delicate feathers, together with his fine hair, which is brushed across his face in a similarly feathery way, give a certain lightness to the otherwise very proud royal portrait.