François Dubois

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The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre by François Dubois. Oil on panel, 94 × 154 cm; Cantonal Museum of Lausanne.

François Dubois (1529– 24 August 1584) was a French Huguenot painter who was born in Amiens and died in Geneva in the Republic of Geneva[1] . His only surviving work is the best known depiction of the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, when French Catholics killed French Protestants (Huguenots) in Paris. It is not known whether Dubois himself was present at the event but a close relative, the surgeon Antoine Dubois, died in the slaughter. Dubois fled to Lausanne to escape the persecution the Catholics continued to impose upon the Huguenots, and a fellow refugee, a banker from Lyon, commissioned the painting to commemorate the massacre.

The painting shows two incidents from the massacre frequently seen in other depictions in prints and book illustrations: the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny's body hangs out of a window at the rear to the right. His body is also depicted decapitated on the ground under the window, with the Duke of Guise standing behind it. To the left rear, Catherine de' Medici, emerges from the Louvre and inspects a heap of bodies.[2]

Dubois is also known to have painted a picture of the Roman Triumvirate.[3]


  1. ^ Dubois, François in the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  2. ^ Knecht, pp. 51-2; Robert Jean Knecht in The French Religious Wars 1562-1598, Osprey Publishing, 2002, ISBN 1-84176-395-0
  3. ^ David Kunzle From Criminal to Courtier: The Soldier in Netherlandish Art 1550-1672 (Brill, 2002) pp. 163–165 (via googlebooks drilldown [1] of this volume.)

Martin Schieder, Die göttliche Ordnung der Geschichte. Massaker und Martyrium im Gemälde »La Saint-Barthélemy« von François Dubois, ib: Uwe Fleckner (ed.): Bilder machen Geschichte. Historische Ereignisse im Gedächtnis der Kunst, Berlin 2014, pp. 127–140 (Studien aus dem Warburg-Haus, Bd. 13).

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