Circle of David Paton (Scottish, active 1660-1695) François Sublet de Noyers, Baron de Dangu (1589–1645), Secretary of State for War (c.1636-1643), wearing ministerial robes, white chemise with broad linen collar and lace scallops, his natural hair worn loose beneath a coif
Lot 5
Circle of David Paton
(Scottish, active 1660-1695)
François Sublet de Noyers, Baron de Dangu (1589–1645), Secretary of State for War (c.1636-1643), wearing ministerial robes, white chemise with broad linen collar and lace scallops, his natural hair worn loose beneath a coif
Sold for £625 (US$ 979) inc. premium

Lot Details
Circle of David Paton (Scottish, active 1660-1695)
François Sublet de Noyers, Baron de Dangu (1589–1645), Secretary of State for War (c.1636-1643), wearing ministerial robes, white chemise with broad linen collar and lace scallops, his natural hair worn loose beneath a coif.
Ink and wash on paper prepared with gesso, mounted within a rectangular gilt-wood frame, inscribed on the reverse M. Desnoyer Ministre/ Secretaire d'Etat Soci/ Louis XIII/ Par de sevre.
Oval, 67mm (2 5/8in) high
Provenance: Christie's, Paris, 01 April 2011, lot 74, attributed to Rolland (Lefebvre de Venise) Lefebvre (French, circa 1608-1677).

Footnotes

  • The aristocratic and staunchly Catholic Sublet de Noyers family had served the French monarchy for generations. The foundations of François' early career in the Conseil des Finances were fortified by his uncle, Jean Bochart de Champigny, who at the time served the Conseil as Superintendant des Finances. In 1613, François married Isabelle Le Sueur, daughter of a Maître des Comptes, who brought him a solid dowry and further connections with the Noblesse de Robe.

    Distant relations of the Bochart de Champigny family positioned Sublet de Noyers within close range of Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642) and by the early 1630s, Richelieu had given him charge of the armies of Champagne and Picardy, a post in which Sublet de Noyers distinguished himself. This particular chapter in his career eventually led to his appointment as Secretary of War before his fiftieth birthday. As the minister responsible for overseeing the armies' progress during a period in which France dominated the battle fields of Europe, Sublet de Noyers became one of the most prominent figures in the Conseil du Roi, closely relied upon by Louis XIII (1601-1643) and Cardinal Richelieu.

    Having rendered himself indispensable, Sublet de Noyers was appointed Superintendent of the King's Buildings in 1638, effectively project managing all restoration and interior redecoration at the Château Fontainebleau and the Palais du Louvre. At Fontainebleau, it is said that Sublet de Noyers ordered the destruction of Michelangelo's 'Leda' (c.1530), now lost, on account of its indecency, although the painting is recorded in inventories as late as 1683 and 1691; the latter record posthumously bearing the instruction, 'to be burned'. Sublet de Noyers was however happy to be advised in all matters relating to the furnishing of the Bâtiments du Roi. His insistence that Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) return to Paris from Rome in 1640 was influenced by and realised with the help of his cousin, Paul Fréart de Chantelou (1609–1694), a friend and patron of the artist.

    At the apex of his career, Sublet de Noyers is said to have enjoyed an annual income of approximately 50,000 livres. He kept residences near the king and Richelieu at Fontainebleau and Rueil respectively. In Paris, he abandoned the Marais quarter (where historically, his family had always kept property in Paris) for a residence on Rue Saint-Honoré. The move was perhaps prompted by the former's loss of cachet as well as it's distance from the crown.

    When Richelieu died at the height of his powers in 1642, Louis XIII was seduced by a small group of Sublet de Noyers detractors, led by the Comte de Chavigny and Cardinal Mazarin (1602–1661). Sublet de Noyers took the hint and requested leave from court, departing hastily in April 1643. The death of Louis XIII soon afterwards gave him some hope of returning solely as Superintendent of the Bâtiments du Roi but he was disappointed and retired to his seat at Dangu where he died surrounded by family and friends. His reputation would soon be eclipsed by the careers of the Marquis de Louvois (1641–1691) and Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) with the subsequent reign of le Roi-Soleil.
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