Portrait of Marguerite of Navarre

Jean Clouet, About 1527

WAG 1308

About this object

This is thought to be a portrait of princess Marguerite of Angoulême, later Queen of Navarre, who was the sister of King Francis I of France. Clouet was court painter to Francis I.

This painting is full of symbols which may give clues to the painting's meaning. The sitter wears daisies in her hat. The French word for daisy is Marguerite. The parrot may symbolise eloquence and mean Marguerite was a good talker. The bird may also symbolise love, its green colour denoting passion.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Portrait of a Lady with a Parrot; Portrait of Marguerite d'Angouleme, duchess d'Angoulême, Queen of Navarre; Portrait of Marguerite de Valois; Portrait of a Florentine Lady
  • Artist(s)
    Jean Clouet (South Netherlandish, born:about 1485, died:between July 1540 and November 1541)
    Polet Clouet (born:unknown, died:unknown)
    French School (French, born:unknown, died:unknown)
  • Date
    About 1527
  • Materials
    Oil; Panel
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 59.8 cm x 51.4 cm
  • Physical description
    Woman set against a red pomegranate-brocaded background and wearing 16th-century dress with slashed sleeves, jewelled hair-net and hat set at an angle and holding on her right hand a Rose-ringed green parakeet (Psittacula Krameri). She places her other hand on a green-draped ledge in front of her. The cupid brooch on her hat and the jewelled ring on her left hand suggest it might be a betrothal portrait. A similar red brocade background and green foreground ledge are found in the portrait of King Francis I of France in the Louvre, Paris. The meaning of the parakeet is uncertain; it could refer to marital chastity, eloquence or be a familypet.
  • Related people
    Jean Clouet (Artist/maker); Polet Clouet (Artist/maker); French School (Artist/maker); Liverpool Royal Institution (Previous owner); William Roscoe (Previous owner); William Woodburn (Previous owner); John Woollett (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1308
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 01
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Liverpool Royal Institution

    Owned from: 1819
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Transferred to Walker Art Gallery 1893 and presented in 1948
  • William Roscoe

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1816-09-27
    Disposal method: Auction (Winstanley's, Liverpool) lot 75
  • William Woodburn

    Owned from: 1813-05-08
    How acquired: Purchased for £21
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • John Woollett

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1813-05-08
    Disposal method: Auction (Christie's, London) Sold to William Woodburn
Object view = Fine Art
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