François II (1544-1560)

After Leonard Limosin


The portrait shows the young François in a black doublet heavily embroidered in gold with a deep lace ruff collar worn under a regal ermine cape. His brimmed cap is decorated with pearls and a feather plume.

François was the eldest son of King Henry II and Catherine de Medici. He was a poorly child and suffered from stunted growth. At the tender age of four, his parents arranged his betrothal to six year old Mary Queen of Scots. The marriage took place ten years later in 1558 and the following year François succeeded to the French throne when his father died from a jousting injury sustained at a tournament held to celebrate the marriage of his eldest daughter. Alas the alliance between the two countries was short-lived as François died in 1560. As they had no children, he was succeeded by his brother and Mary returned to Scotland.

Inspired by an enamel portrait attributed to Limosin, enamel portrait artist to the French King’s Court. Painted here in watercolour on vellum, the portrait is set in the original silver frame with pierced spiral cresting and bevelled glass. It is engraved ‘Francis II’ on the reverse.

Item Ref. 6738

Size: framed, 62 x 48mm + cresting