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Charles I and his Queen, Henrietta Maria, enter through a doorway. They are apparently being presented by Philip Herbert, first Earl of Montgomery (later fourth Earl of Pembroke) and received by his elder brother, William Herbert, third Earl of Pembroke. Behind Pembroke stands Jeffrey Hudson, a dwarf who lived in the queen's household.
Four versions of this painting are known to exist: one in the Royal Collection, acquired by Queen Victoria in 1888; another at Wilton House, Salisbury; and a third, considered the original, in a private collection. This version, formerly in the collection of Lord
Chesham, may have been acquired by Chesham's ancestor, George Augustus Cavendish, first Earl of Burlington. It differs from the others in the choice of paintings shown in the background. In the this version, there are two unidentified landscapes, whereas other versions include two of Charles I's most famous Titians, ‘The Entombment of Christ’ and ‘The Supper at Emmaus’ (both now in the Louvre). The reason for this difference is not known.
It has been suggested that the interior represented is Charles I's palace Theobald's, near Enfield, which was almost entirely demolished after the King's execution in 1649.
Hendrick van Steenwijck the younger, painter of architectural scenes - particularly church interiors, was probably taught by his father, Hendrick van Steenwijck the elder, in Frankfurt. After his father’s death in 1603, he continued to practice in Frankfurt and Antwerp. He arrived in London in 1617, where he is thought to have married Susanna Gaspoel, also a painter. He sometimes collaborated with other artists, including Daniel Mytens. In 1627, the Painter-Stainers' Company unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute Steenwyck and other foreign artists for failing to obey company regulations. In c.1633, his portrait was drawn by van Dyck. He left England in c.1638. By 1642 he was working in Leiden. He died, probably in The Hague, in 1649.
An Interior with King Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, Jeffery Hudson, William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke and his brother Philip Herbert, later 4th Earl of Pembroke
Oil on canvas
height: 110.00 cm, width: 145.00 cm
Purchased from Sotheby's, 23 May 1951
Collection of John Compton Cavendish, 4th Baron Chesham (1894-1952) of Latimer, Chesham, Buckinghamshire; by whom sold through Sotheby's, New Bond Street, London, ‘Fine Paintings by Old Masters, Historical Portraits, etc.’ sale, on 13 February 1946 (Lot 7), as by Mytens; with William Hallsborough Ltd., London; sold through Sotheby’s, London, ‘Important Architectural Drawings... Fine Old Master Paintings...’ sale, on 23 May 1951 (Lot 88), as D. Mytens ‘Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria at Theobald Palace’; from which sale purchased by Agnew’s Gallery, London, on behalf of the Ministry of Works
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