portrait of a noblewoman said to be queen henrietta maria c1640 follower of daniel mytens

Portrait of a Noblewoman, said to be Queen Henrietta Maria, c.1640; Follower of Daniel Mytens.



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A small full length portrait, oil on canvas in giltwood frame.
In this elegant portrait, an exquisite version 'in little' of a life-size Court painting, the sitter is resting in a chair of estate and wearing extremely rich Court clothing and jewellery.
The portrait itself has a jewel-like quality enhanced by the sitter's almost doll-like appearance.
In the Rushbrooke Hall inventory of paintings this portrait was always referred to as Queen Henrietta Maria, but the attribution is doubtful. (The late Mr. Quinn did not agree; see below).
Of cabinet size the painting has a great theatrical sense, using a combination of drapery and pose. (The 'cabinet' in the 17th century was a small, intimate room in which were kept items important to the owner,and only their closest friends would be admitted).
HENRIETTA MARIA of France (1609 1669) was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. She was mother of two kings, Charles II and James II and grandmother of two queens and one king, Mary II, William III and Anne of Great Britain as well as paternal aunt of Louis XIV of France.
Her Catholic religion made her unpopular in England, and also prohibited her from being crowned in an Anglican service; therefore she never had a coronation. She began to immerse herself in national affairs as civil war loomed on the horizon, when the English Civil War began in 1642, Henrietta Maria was in Europe.
She returned to England in 1643 when she landed in Yorkshire with troops. She joined up with Royalist forces in the north and made her headquarters in York. She moved to Oxford to be with Charles but fled to France in July 1644 following the birth of her youngest daughter, Henrietta Anne when the position of the Royalists looked bleak; here she remained along with her sons.
Her husband's execution in 1649 was a terrible blow. She brought up her youngest child Henrietta in her own faith, but her efforts to persuade her youngest son, the Duke of Gloucester, to take the same course only produced discomfort in the exiled family.
The story of her marriage with her attached servant Lord Jermyn needs more confirmation than it has yet received to be accepted, but all the information which has reached us of her relations with her children points to the estrangement which had grown up between them.
After the Restoration she returned to England when she found that she had no place in the new world. She received from Parliament a grant of 30,000 a year in compensation for the loss of her dower-lands, and the King added a similar sum as a pension from himself.
In January 1661 she returned to France to be present at the marriage of her daughter Henrietta to the Duke of Orleans.
In July 1662 she set out again for England, and took up her residence once more at Somerset House. Her health failed her, and on the 24th of June 1665, she departed in search of the clearer air of her native country.
She died on the 31st of August 1666, at Colombes, not far from Paris.
Danil Mijtens (Delft, c. 1590 The Hague, 1647/48), known in England as DANIEL MYTENS the Elder, was a Dutch portrait painter who spent the central years of his career working in England. He was born in Delft into a family of artists and trained in The Hague, possibly in the studio of Van Mierevelt.
SIZE: 27.5 x 18.5 inches inc. frame.
*Rushbrooke Hall, Suffolk until the contents sale of 1919. (Image 5)
*Nowton Cottage, Suffolk until 2010. (Image 6)
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Collection of the late John Quinn, Kent.
(Mr. Quinn had a theory, backed up by his research, that this portrait was of Queen Henrietta Maria and contains extensive coded references to her relationship with Lord Jermyn. All this information is available to the purchaser, should they wish it.)
Verso: old label: 'Francis Collins from Great Portland Street.
Internal Ref: 8791

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