Corneille de Lyon

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File:Corneille de Lyon 001.jpg
Portrait of Henri II of France circa 1536

Corneille de Lyon (early 16th century - 8 November 1575 (buried))[1]) was a Dutch painter of portraits who was active in Lyon, France from 1533 until his death. In France and the Netherlands he is also still known as Corneille de La Haye after his birthplace, The Hague.

Although he is well documented as the leading painter in this distinctively French style, very few identifiable work can be firmly traced as his, with the first one identified in 1962. Distinguishing his hand from the many other artists working in the same style is therefore extremely difficult, if not impossible - works tend to be attributed to him on grounds of quality alone.[2]

Corneille's portraits are nearly miniature in scale, ranging from the size of a postcard to about 8" x 10". Corneille worked in oil paint on wood panels. The flesh areas are painted very thinly, while the greenish backgrounds are painted more thickly. Similarities with the work of Hans Holbein may point to the use of tracing frames by both painters. The Louvre in Paris and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art are both good places to study Corneille's work. Boston's Museum of Fine Arts has two fine examples, but they are rarely displayed.


  1. Corneille de la Haye at the Netherlands Institute for Art History
  2. Anthony Blunt, "Art and Architecture in France, 1500-1700", pp. 62-64, 2nd edn 1957, Penguin

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