Princess Charlotte was the daughter of King Francis I of France, whose court was an international center for the arts. Her rich clothing and jeweled cap denote her high status, and her rosary indicates a gentle and pious nature. About seven years old at the time of this portrait, she died at the age of eight.Portraits of European royal children were commissioned to record stages of their development and were often exchanged with other royal houses as a diplomatic gesture. Jean Clouet, the court painter under Francis I, based his formal panel portraits on detailed drawings made from life. His style typifies northern renaissance painting with its silhouetting of shapes, incisive draftsmanship, and enamellike finish.