Henrietta Maria (Princess Henrietta Maria of France) (1609-1669) Queen Consort of King Charles I
About the work
Henrietta Maria, the French wife of King Charles I, was the subject of several portraits by Anthony van Dyck, the leading court painter of the time. This is a copy of one of his finest paintings. It shows Henrietta wearing a deep yellow dress with lace collar and cuffs. The dress is richly decorated with pearls and a black ribbon is tied around her waist. The position of the Queen’s arms is an indication that she is pregnant. This is also suggested by her waistband, decorated with a rosette (flowers were often used as a symbol of fertility and motherhood) and by the tiny royal crown on the table by her side. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was born on 17 March 1637.
About the artist
Sir Anthony van Dyck was born in Antwerp. Early in his career he was an assistant to Peter Paul Rubens. He first visited England between November 1620 and February 1621, where his work impressed King James I. He then travelled to Italy, staying until the autumn of 1627, before returning to Antwerp. During his time in Italy, van Dyck developed as a portrait painter, painting mostly wealthy merchant-princes. His style evolved under the influence of works by Titian and Veronese. In 1632 he returned to England, where he became 'Principal Painter in Ordinary' to Charles I. The following year he was knighted. His portraits of the royal family enhanced their prestige at home and abroad and his work had a profound influence on British portraiture.
- Henrietta Maria (Princess Henrietta Maria of France) (1609-1669) Queen Consort of King Charles I
- Oil on canvas
- height: 100.00 cm, width: 82.50 cm
- Purchased from Christie's, 23 May 1958
- Collection of Archibald Ralph Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Wharncliffe (1892-1953) of Wortley Hall, South Yorkshire; by whose trustees sold through Christie's, London, on 23 May 1958 (Lot 61); from which sale purchased by Richard Walker on behalf of the Ministry of Works
- GAC number