Portrait of Guillaume de Croy (William de Croy). CIRCLE OF QUINTEN MASSIJS (LEUVEN, 1456-1530)

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Portrait of Guillaume de Croy (William de Croy)
Oil on panel
13 ½ x 10 ¼ in.

Bust-length portrait of of Guillaume de Croy (William de Croy, 1458-1521), in a fur-lined coat.

Guillaume de Croy, Lord of Chiévres (1458-1521), was born into nobility as the second son of Philippe de Croy. He bought the Lordship of Beaumont and Chiévres from his father in 1485.

Croy was elected a Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1491, his allegiance evident from the inclusion of a golden lamb medallion in this portrait. In 1494, he became part of the Court of Philip the Handsome (1478-1506). After Philip’s death, Guillaume became part of the regency council and held chief responsibility for the finances of the Low Countries, as well as being supreme commander. In 1509, he became chief tutor and first chamberlain of the infant archduke Charles V (1500-1558) which proved to be his most important achievement and would make him an influential man in international politics. Charles V was soon dependent on Guillaume for advice and gave him many titles, such as Duchy of Sora and Arce, and Baron of Roccaguglielma. However, Charles finally broke with his advisor’s influence when he went to war against France, which the pro-French Guillaume had tried to prevent.

Guillaume was said to have been poisoned by protestant followers of Martin Luther in 1521. He was succeeded by his other nephew Philippe II de Croy

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