Jean Perréal

Born: After 1450  - Death: after 1530    Located in: The Cinquecento Corridor

Perréal’s signature is sometimes seen as Peréal and he was also known as Johannes Parisienus or Jean De Paris. He was a successful portraitist for French Royalty in the first half of the 16th Century, as well as an architect, sculptor and illuminator. He was active mostly in France and in Italy and London as well.

Perréal’s major patrons were Charles of Bourbon (1489 – 1537), King Charles VIII (1470 – 1498), King Louis XII (1462 – 1515) and King Francis I (1494 – 1547), all of France. It is mentioned that in honor of Charles of Bourbon he painted escutcheons for the entry of the nobleman to the city of Lyons. His most remarkable works are often considered to be a portrait of Charles VIII (Musée Condé, Chantilly) and a miniature piece, Pierre Sala.

He was also an accomplished designer of tombs, medals, theater scenery and ceremonies, including the marriage of King Louis XII and his second wife Mary Tudor (1496 – 1533). For the marriage, Perréal was sent to London, in 1514, where he also executed a portrait of Mary Tudor. He also crafted a unique portrait of Louis XII working in a glazed paint pigment on glass, titled Louis XII of France in Prayer (Walters Museum, Baltimore). As a sculptural designer, Perréal sketched the design for the tomb of Francis II, Duke of Brittany (1433 – 1488) and is was executed by the French sculptor Michel Colombe (1430 – 1513) in the cathedral of Nantes

His style is noted as keeping to the elegant French tradition, as well as a touch of Flemish realism (Encyclopedia Britannica). This is seen in his portrait now in the Uffizi Gallery, Portrait of a Lady.

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