This portrait and its counterpart, depicting the King of Bohemia, were at Mote Park, near Maidstone, seat of the Lords Romney, by 1795, when the author of ‘Historical Genealogy of the Royal House of Stuarts’ referred to them there, attributing the works to Cornelius Johnson and commenting: ‘his person is good; she, though not handsome, is far more so than either of her parents: their misfortunes seem depicted in their countenances.’
Dutch painter Gerrit van Honthorst trained under Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht and was in Rome from c.1610-12. Here, Honthorst became particularly influenced by the work of Caravaggio and of his follower Manfredi. Honthorst also worked for Caravaggio’s former patron, the Marchese Giustiniani. After leaving Rome in 1620, he settled in Utrecht until 1628. He then made a brief visit to London, where he worked as a royal portraitist, painting an intimate portrait of Charles I (1628). From 1637 to 1652 Honthorst lived in a large mansion in The Hague, where his students included Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia and her daughters. He painted several of Elizabeth’s family members. Honthorst occasionally produced work with his brother, Willem (1594-1666).
Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia (1596-1662) Winter Queen
Oil on canvas
height: 208.50 cm, width: 145.50 cm
Purchased from Christie's, 9 February 1951
TOP OF BALUSTRADE (barely legible): QUEEN OF BOHEMIA, DAUGHTER TO KING JAMES / THE FIRST
BR: G. Honthorst.
BL: Elizabeth / Queen of Bohemia / B.1596 D.1662.
Collection of Charles Marsham, Baron Romney (1744-1811; later 1st Earl of Romney) at Mote House (The Mote) in Kent by 1795; by descent to Charles Marsham, 4th Earl of Romney (1841-1905); by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 9 June 1888 (Lot 358), bought in; collection of Romney; from whom purchased as part of the Mote Estate by Marcus Samuel (1853-1927; later 1st Viscount Bearsted) in 1895; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, 13 December 1929 (Lot 77, with GAC 1263); from which sale purchased by Gooden & Fox, London, for £210; collection of Sir Edward Oswald Every (c.1887-c.1950) of Egginton Hall, Derby, and Lennox Gardens, Chelsea; by whose executors sold through Christie’s, London, on 9 February 1951 (Lot 107; with GAC 1264); from which sale purchased by ‘Norway’, on behalf of the Ministry of Works
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