portrait of a court lady with an attendant 1685 by henri gascars



| $50,866 USD | €42,537 EUR

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This is a superbly decorative Baroque painting, typical of the artist’s work, vibrant and of great interest. The depiction of the different materials, especially the lace, is fantastic.
Represented as Venus and Adonis, it is possible that the two sitters are Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth, and her son, Charles, 1st Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Charles II and Louis de Kerouaille. They are shown within the grounds of a great palace, jewels abound, and the dogs are those favourites of the monarch, King Charles spaniels.
Gascar painted Louise and her son on several occasions. The boy was born in 1672, so that would make him about 13 at the time of this portrait.

The identities are pure speculation, but backed by a strong facial resemblance to other examples of her portrait by Gascar, plus the royal quality and quantity of the jewellery worn, and the signature Stuart lapdogs, all within the purlieus of a great palace, it is far from unreasonable.
It is evident that the portrait was once rectangular, but modified to fit this spectacular frame; the subject sits well within the frame, but the clue is the hindquarters of a dog (lower right) which now seems, amusingly, to be hiding under the frame.

LOUISE RENEE de PENANCOET de KEROUALLE, Duchess of Portsmouth (5 September 1649 – 14 November 1734) was a mistress of Charles II of England. Louise was early introduced to the household of Henrietta Anne Stuart, Duchess of Orléans, sister of Charles II of Great Britain, and sister-in-law of Louis XIV of France. Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, asserts that her family threw her in the way of Louis XIV in the hope that she would become a royal mistress.
The titles of Baroness Petersfield, Countess of Fareham and Duchess of Portsmouth were granted to her for life on 19 August 1673. Her pensions and money allowances of various kinds were enormous. In 1681 alone she received £136,000. The French court gave her frequent presents, and in December 1673 conferred upon her the title Duchess of Aubigny in the Peerage of France at the request of Charles II.

Louise's thorough understanding of Charles' character enabled her to retain her hold on him to the end.
(CHARLES LENNOX, 1st Duke of Richmond, 1st Duke of Lennox, KG (29 July 1672 – 27 May 1723), of Goodwood House near Chichester in Sussex, was the youngest of the seven illegitimate sons of King Charles II, and was that king's only son by his French-born mistress Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.)
HENRI GASCAR (1635 – 1 Jan 1701) (also Gascard, Gascars) was a French-born portrait painter who achieved artistic success in England during the reign of Charles II. He painted many leading ladies at court, including several of the King's mistresses, before returning to Paris.
Gascar came to England about 1674, probably at the behest of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress.
The patronage of the Duchess of Portsmouth ensured Gascar a rapid success in England.] His flamboyant style, contrasting with the stolid English approach, seemed to suit the frivolity of the time and he painted many of the ladies of Charles II's court. His lack of attention to detail in the likeness he made up for by the sumptuous draperies.
Canvas size: 39 x 47.25 inches.
PROVENANCE: Probably Marquis d’Havrincourt,
Comte Gérard de Cardevac, (1902 – 1998),
Rouillac, Chateau de Cheverny, 6 June 1999 (lot 17),
Walid Juffali (1955 – 2016), Bishopsgate House,
The Walid Juffali Collection, Bishopsgate House, Bonhams, 26 March 2018.
Private Collection, Windsor.

Internal Ref: Gascar


Height = 119 cm (47")
Width = 57 cm (23")
Depth = 8 cm (3")

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