CHARLET & JACOTIN Portrait of Jeanne d'Albert (1528-1572) ca. 1860 [R/V] - x +
ChJa1860jean


CN: ChJa1860jean

MT: albumen print on paper mounted on card (9x5 / C:11x6)

TX: embossed at lower right of picture <C.J>, printed at lower left of margin in English <CHARLET & JACOTIN>, inscribed with fountain pen at lower center of margin <Jeanne d'Albert>, inscribed with pencil at rear upper left <Jeanne d'Albert>, printed at upper center <PHOTOGRAPHIE / CHARLET & JACOTIN / 37, Boult. de Strasbourg / PARIS.>, stamped below <MAISON / ALPH GIROUX>

PR: Maison Alphonse Giroux, Paris

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2009

CM: Jeanne III or Joan III, known as Jeanne d'Albert (7 January 1528 - 9 June 1572) was Queen regnant of Navarre from 1555 to 1572, wife of Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme and mother of King Henry IV of France. She was the acknowledged spiritual and political leader of the French Huguenot movement [Strage 1976, p. 148]. § Jeanne was born in Pau, Béarn, France on 7 January 1528, the daughter of Henry II of Navarre and Marguerite of Angoulême. Marguerite was the sister of King Francis I of France, and Jeanne grew up at the French court. She was a Huguenot, raised in the French Protestant Reformed faith. In her youth she had been a frivolous and high-spirited princess, but she had also, at an early age, displayed a tendency to be stubborn and unyielding [Strage 1976, p. 149]. In 1541, when Jeanne was thirteen, King Francis married her, against her will, to William "the Rich", Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. She had to be carried bodily to the altar by the Constable of France, Anne de Montmorency [Strage 1976, p.149 & Hackett 2007, p.419]. This political marriage was annulled four years later due to unconsummation. William was the brother of Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England. After the death of Francis in 1547, and the accession of King Henry II, Jeanne was married to Antoine de Bourbon, "first prince of the blood," who would become heir to the French throne in the event that the Valois' produced no male heirs. Her marriage to Antoine was a romantic match, despite the fact that he was a notorious philanderer whose frequent absences left Jeanne in complete charge of the household which she managed with a firm and resolute hand. They had five children; only two of whom, Henry and Catherine, lived to adulthood. On 25 May 1555, Henry II of Navarre died, and Jeanne and her husband became rulers of Navarre. § In the first year of her reign, Jeanne d'Albert called a conference of beleaguered Huguenot ministers which led to her declaring Calvinism the official religion of her kingdom after publicly embracing the teachings of Calvin on Christmas Day 1560. Jeanne became a fanatic, which resulted in the proscription of Catholicism. Priests and nuns were duly banished, churches destroyed, and Catholic ritual prohibited [Strage 1976, p.150]. She commissioned the translation of the New Testament into Basque for the benefit of her subjects. She was described as "small of stature, frail but erect". Her face was narrow, her light- coloured eyes cold, unmoving, and her lips thin. She was highly intelligent, but austere and self-righteous. Her speech was sharply sarcastic and vehement. Agrippa d' Aubigne, the Huguenot chronicler described Jeanne as having "a mind powerful enough to guide the highest affairs" [Strage 1976, p.150]. § The power struggle between Catholics and Huguenots for control of the French court and France as a whole led to the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion in 1562. Antoine de Bourbon chose to support the Catholics, but was mortally wounded at the siege of Rouen. Jeanne's son Henry now became "first prince of the blood." In 1567 war broke out again, and Jeanne sought refuge in the Huguenot city of La Rochelle. From there she conducted peace negotiations, and in 1570 a marriage of convenience was arranged between her son Henry and King Charles IX's sister Marguerite. On 9 June 1572, two months before the wedding was due to take place, Jeanne died, unexpectedly, in Paris. A popular rumour which circulated shortly afterward, contended that Jeanne had been poisoned by the regent Catherine de' Medici, the mother of her son's prospective bride who allegedly sent her a pair of perfumed gloves, skillfully poisoned by her profumer, René Bianco, a fellow Florentine. This fanciful chain of events also appears in the Romantic writer Alexandre Dumas's 1845 novel La Reine Margot. An autopsy, however, proved that Jeanne died of natural causes [Strage 1976, p. 155-6]. [Megakles Rogakos 12/2009]

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