Royal Portrait

Last year, Philip Mould, an English art dealer, bought this small portrait in an online auction. At the auction it was said that it could be a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh.

It turned out to be a portrait of King Henri III of France. On dismantling the piece, they found that it was signed on the back by the author of the portrait, Jean Decourt, a court painter. It is curious that in the portrait the king is wearing women’s clothes. Henri’s penchant for wearing women’s clothes was well documented in his day, as was his coterie of male.

A fine find by Mould, that looks as if it could be sold to the Louvre Museum.

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