Jean II Le Bon

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John IIJean (John) II (1319 – 1364) painted by Anonymous

We usually visit le Lovure when it opens and join the throng rushing up the stairs into the Demon Wing, past Winged Victory and into the Apollo Salon for a first peek at La Gionconda (aka DaVinci’s Mona Lisa) and the Grand Gallerie of French, Italian and Spanish masterpieces. Before long it is very crowded and congested.

A much overlooked, under-rated and our secret recommendation is on the other side of the courtyard up to the third (3rd) floor of the least crowded Richelieu Wing to the collection of peniture (paintings) which includes Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens

At the top of the escalator there, the first painting is of Jean II Le bon (John II the Good)

This is one of the first individual portraits in Europe, one of the oldest in French Art (circa 1350) King John lacks a crown perhaps because he was only the Duke of Normandy at that time.

No King wanted to bear his name they say, because of his difficult reign, defeated by the English, imprisoned in London and forced to renounce his crown

Kings and Queens

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Kings and Queens

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Monarchy of France

John II Jean le Bon (John II the Good)

At different venues about Paris we feel inadequate due to our lack of familiarity with French Royalty:

Among the Peiture (Paintings) at Le Louvre, where a huge gallery is dedicated to Queen Catherine de Médicis Cycle painted by Peter Paul Rubens

The Scultpures in the Museum of French History at Versailles and the Galerie d’Apollon (Louvre), prominent historical figures are featured most of whom we are unfamiliar with, for some the names are totally new.

At Basillica St. Denis, the Royal Necropolis where French monarchs were traditionally interred, the recumbent tombs poplulate the church with a plethora of figures who we want to know more about.

We have become more familiar with some French Monarchs through their paintings at le Louvre:

Clovis I (466-511)

Philippe Auguste (Philip II)
King of France from 1180 to 1223

Louis IX, or St. Louis (1214–70)

Jean (John) II (1319 – 1364) painted by Anonymous

House of Valois

Philip VI of France (1293 – 1350) King from 1328 until his death
(called Phillippe VI the Fortunate and Phillippe VI of Valois)

Charles VII (1403 – 1461) painted by Jean Fouquet King from 1422 to his death

Francois I (1494-1547) painted by Jean Clouet
Francis I (reigned 1515–47)

Henry II (1519 -1559)
Henry II (reigned 1547–59)

Catherine de’ Medici (1519 -1589) painted by Peter Paul Rubens
Catherine de Médicis (1547 to 1559)

Francis II (1544 – 1560)
Francis II (reigned 1559 to 1560)

Charles IX (1550 – 1574)
Charles IX (reigned 1560 to 1574)

Henry III (1551 – 1589)
Henry III (reigned 1574 to 1589)

Henry IV (1572 -1610) painted as Hercules (vanquishing the Lernaean Hydra) by Toussaint Dubreuil
Henry IV (reigned 1589–1610)

Charles I (of England) (1600 – 1649) painted by Anthony van Dyck
(we always assumed that this peinture among French kings, was a king of France)

Louis XIV (1638 -1715) painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud

Marie Antoinette (1755 -1793) painted by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Napoleon I (1769 -1821) painted by Jacques Louis David

Napoleon III (1808 -1873) painted by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (Versailles, Musée National du Château)

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