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)

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

Charles VII (1403 – 1461) painted by Jean Fouquet

Francois I (1494-1547) painted by Jean Clouet

Henry II (1519 -1559)

Catherine de’ Medici (1519 -1589) painted by Peter Paul Rubens

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

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)

2016 Paris Itinerary
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