French c. 1623–1678
Jean Nocret (after)
French c. 1615–1672
François de Vendôme, Duc de Beaufort 1649
Colin Holden Charitable Trust
Nicknamed ‘king of the markets’, François de Vendôme was a charismatic and popular public figure in the mid-17th century. Although accounts from the period describe him as a man of mediocre intelligence and unscrupulous character, public subscriptions were instituted to pay his mounting debts—the writer François de la Rochefoucaud remarking in 1672 that ‘no man with so few amiable qualities was so generally loved.’
Here, the Duke’s extravagant tendencies are conveyed through his elaborately plumed helmet and similarly flamboyant grooming and costume, as he debonairly brandishes the customary military baton of his rank.