Tuesday, May 21, 2019

More on the Art Collection of Charles I and Henrietta Maria

Henrietta Maria of France
From Vogue:
Thusly spurned by the Spanish infanta, Charles subsequently chose 14-year-old Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France and his taste-making Florentine wife Marie de’ Medici (and sister to Louis XIII), as his queen. Henrietta Maria promised her godfather, Pope Urban VIII, that she would bring up her children as Catholics, unwittingly sowing the seeds for the rise of Oliver Cromwell, the fall of the monarchy, and the execution of her husband. Problematic as her influence on the British throne would ultimately prove, Queen Henrietta Maria’s reign was at least possessed of refined taste. Through her godfather and his connections to the great artists of Rome, she introduced the work of some Italian Baroque stars to Britain’s court, bringing artists such as Orazio Gentileschi to work in London and smoothing the way for the commission of a portrait bust of her husband by Bernini. A disgruntled Bernini worked not from life, as he would have liked, but from a remarkable triple portrait of the king by the new star of the moment, Anthony van Dyck. Although this picture was intended merely as a model from which Bernini would work, it is evident that van Dyck was using the commission as an opportunity to showcase his virtuosity to the iconic sculptor, and perhaps attract the attention of potential continental clients. (Read more.)

Infanta Maria Anna of Austria, Holy Roman Empress

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