Diane de Poitiers

A discussion on the life of this sixteenth century mistress to King Henry II of France, as well as her influence on the king, the French court, art and feminism.

Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), the mistress of Henry II of France, was beautiful, intelligent and cultured. She was a patron of many artists and poets and exerted immense influence over the king who completely ignored his wife. Even when she was very old, she still had an admirable body and intellectual vigor, which continually surprised the people around her. She was what one could call a strong woman. This paper explores the life and influence of Diane de Poitiers, including her influence on King Henry II, the French Court, art and her role in feminism.