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!"#$ MERCHANTS %# MONARCHS FRANS POURBUS THE YOUNGER


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The Weiss Gallery 59 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6LX Tel 020 7409 0035 Fax 020 7491 9604

www.weissgallery.com


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A C K N OW L E D G E M E N T S

I would like to thank all those who have assisted in this project; in particular, my fellow Director Florence Evans, without whose sterling efforts it would have been impossible to have produced this catalogue within such a narrow time frame.

I would also like to express special gratitude to two remarkable art historians and archivists, Professor Rafaella Morselli who is a leading authority on the Gonzaga collection, and Maarten Bassens, an Antwerp-based researcher at the Rubenshuis, whose assistance has been invaluable.

And to my new Gallery Manager Charles Mackay and my beloved wife Catherine for their excellent research too. Finally to Blaise Ducos, curator of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings in the Louvre, whose recent monograph on Pourbus is proving to be a crucial resource for many fascinating insights in the study of this remarkable artist.

I would also like to thank the following for their marvellous work: RESTORATION The Katherine Ara Studio, and in particular, Fabio Mazzocchini PHOTOGRAPHY Prudence Cuming Associates FRAMING Rollo Whately and Virginia Brix CATALOGUE DESIGN & PRODUCTION Ashted Dastor

Cover: Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Lorraine (cat. no. 9) 4


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CONTENTS

Antwerp:

THE EARLY WORKS ....... 8

1591 ~ 1594 1 Willem Van Vyve and his wife, Marie de Huelstre, 1591. The Weiss Gallery ....... 14 2 An Unknown Man, aged 56, 1591. The Weiss Gallery ....... 17 3 Caterine Van Damme, 1591. The Weiss Gallery ....... 23 4 An Unknown Man with Book, c.1591-3. Private Collection, Belgium ....... 25 5 An Unknown Man, c.1594. Private Collection, France ....... 27

Brussels:

THE ARCHDUCAL COURT ....... 29

1594 ~ 1600 6 Archduke Albert VII of Austria (1559-1621), c.1600 ....... 33 The Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, USA

Mantua:

THE COURT OF VINCENZO GONZAGA ....... 34

1600 ~ 1609 7 Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1562-1612), c.1600-01. Private Collection, Italy ....... 39 8 Ferdinando Gonzaga, later Duke of Mantua (1587-1626), c.1602-03. Private Collection, Belgium ....... 43 9 Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Lorraine (1591-1632), 1606. The Weiss Gallery ....... 45

Pa r i s :

THE ROYAL COURT ....... 50

1609 ~ 1622 10 Henri IV of France (1553-1610), c.1610. Private Collection, England ....... 53 11 Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), c.1612. Cleveland Museum of Fine Art, USA ....... 55 12 Elisabeth of France (1602-1644), c.1610-12. The Weiss Gallery ....... 55 13 Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), c.1620. The Weiss Gallery ....... 61

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I N T RO D U C T I O N by

M a r k We i s s

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or TEFAF 2015, I have the unprecedented privilege of exhibiting eight portraits by Frans Pourbus the Younger. Never before have so

many works by the artist been privately assembled and exhibited and only the collection of the Medici in the Uffizi and Pitti Palace, with ten, has more. To commemorate this remarkable achievement, I have taken the opportunity to publish this catalogue, which includes five previously unpublished portraits, as well as the six other works by the artist that I have acquired during the last eighteen years.These portraits, which span the breadth of his career, I am proud to say, include some of his greatest masterpieces.They stand as a testament to my dedication and passion for a painter who has become very much a talisman for me. The very first work that I discovered and independently attributed in 1997 is the exceptionally powerful portrait of Caterine van Damme (cat. no. 3). Then in 2002 I bought at Sotheby’s first sale in Paris the very beautiful full-length of Louis XIII (cat. no. 11), which now hangs in the Cleveland Museum of Fine Art. This portrait also graces the front cover of the recently published monograph on Pourbus by Blaise Ducos, curator of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Louvre. At the time of the auction, his predecessor had declared the picture a copy, despite it being clearly signed, and fortuitously I was the only one to recognise it for what it truly was. In 2009 I brokered the sale in Italy of another, arguably even greater masterpiece, the full-length of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, (cat. no. 7). This hugely significant work was rightly classified as ‘notificato’ by the Italian state, and thus forbidden ever to be sold out of the country. Purchased directly from one of Mantua’s most ancient and noble families, I sold the painting to a client in Rome.

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Over the last few years, many more works have surfaced and come on to the market, and as far as I’m aware, I have managed to acquire them all. Some have been incorrectly catalogued discoveries (cat. nos. 1 & 5), while others I have had to pay record prices at auction (cat. nos. 2 & 12). The works that I have gathered together here showcase the artist’s extraordinary talent and artistic development. They cover the very first years of Pourbus’s career in the early 1590s as painter of the patrician and merchant class in Antwerp and Bruges, through to the first two decades of the 17th century when he became the portraitist of choice for Europe’s leading royal and ducal families - the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs, the Italian Gonzagas and Medici, and the French Bourbons. These portraits demonstrate the significance of Pourbus’s artistic legacy, for he can be seen as an important bridge between the more introspective 16th century Flemish tradition of meticulously painted realism, and the broader brushwork and theatrical vision of the 17th century Baroque. Indeed, it was only the genius of Rubens and Van Dyck that would take Flemish portraiture in a different direction. I would like to dedicate this catalogue to the memory of Walter Liedtke, the renowned curator of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, who died in tragic circumstances on 3rd February 2015. Only a few days earlier we had had a fascinating meeting examining together and discussing the museum’s own portrait by Pourbus of Margherita Gonzaga. His kindness and great knowledge will be sorely missed

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Antwerp A n t w e1591 r p : – 1595 1591 ~ 1594


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1591 ~ 1594 T H E E A R LY WO R K S

FRANS POURBUS THE YOUNGER was the third generation of a family of history

and portrait painters founded by Pieter Pourbus (c.1523 – 1584), the most prominent painter to work in Bruges in the second half of the sixteenth century. Frans was twelve years old when his father, Frans the Elder (1545 – 1581), prematurely died at the age of thirty-six. It is not recorded where or with whom Frans trained, but we can assume it was initially in his grandfather’s studio. As was common practice, having served his apprenticeship he was accepted as a master to the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp in 1591, thus beginning his professional career as a portrait painter at twenty-two. However, for artists working in Antwerp, the late sixteenth century was an era of economic uncertainty and political upheaval, for following the sack of Antwerp in 1576 by the Catholic Spanish troops, Antwerp became the political capital of the Netherlandish revolt and with its significant Calvinist and Lutheran community, a bulwark of international Protestantism. In 1584 – 1585 this revolt reached its climax with the siege and fall of Antwerp to the Catholic forces led by Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma. Under orders to convert or face exile, there was a diaspora of artists forced to seek their livelihoods in other cities. For those that chose to remain, such as Pourbus, this must have brought some benefits as there would have been less competition for work. We can see from the remarkable number of eight commissions that have survived from 1591, Pourbus clearly was in great demand and even in his first year was able to afford to take on an assistant who would have been responsible for grinding colours, or setting paint out on the palette for his young master. In this catalogue we have no less than four paintings of the eight from 1591. Whilst these, his earliest works, naturally reflect his artistic roots, assimilating and bringing to a climax the 16th century Netherlandish tradition inherited from his grandfather and

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father, nonetheless we can see a fascinating progression and development in his style, even in such a short period of a single year: from the accomplished, yet slightly static portraits of Willem van Vyve and his wife Marie de Huelstre (cat. no. 1), which owe much to the style of Adriaen Thomasz. Key (c.1545 – c.1589), an artist who was from his father’s generation, to the assured and breath-takingly observant portraits of an Unknown Man aged 56 (cat. no. 2) or Caterine van Damme (cat. no. 3), where Pourbus has clearly found his own‘voice’. The virtuosity and prodigious technique that Pourbus displays so early on in his career in Antwerp clearly attracted the very influential patrician patrons such as Nicolas de Hellincx, a procurator-general in Brabant, and Petrus Ricardus, who was to become physician to Archduke Albert, and it is more than likely connections such as these would have helped facilitate the ambitious young artist in his desire to further his career by gaining access into the Hapsburg court in Brussels. Another very important connection and relationship would have been his friendship with Frans Francken the Elder (1542 – 1616), a fellow Antwerp artist whom Pourbus portrayed in a traditional pose holding his palette and brush. This bust length portrait, which is in the Uffizi in Florence was for many years mistakenly thought to be a self-portrait of Pourbus himself, is another signed and dated painting from 1591. In 1594, Francken was commissioned to paint portraits of four Hapsburg princes and princesses to decorate one of the triumphal arches erected to celebrate Archduke Ernst’s ceremonal entrance into Brussels, and its is likely Francken helped promote Pourbus to the new ruler of the Spanish Netherlands. As we will see, once at the Hapsburg court in Brussels his career and reputation quickly took off, and within a matter of just a couple of years Pourbus had transformed himself from a painter of the local merchants in Antwerp into the most fashionable court painter in Europe and creator of the iconography of so many of its rulers

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Willem Van Vyve Oil on panel: 40 × 28 5⁄8 in. (101.5 × 72.8 cm.) Inscribed upper right with the armorial of van Vyve and upper left: ‘ANNO.DNI.1591’/‘AETATIS SUAE. 26’ and his wife Marie

De Huelstre

Oil on panel: 40 × 28 5⁄8 in. (101.5 × 72.8 cm.) Inscribed upper right with the armorial of van Vyve and De Huelstre and upper left: ‘ANNO.DNI.1591’/‘AETATIS SUAE. 23’ Painted 1591 P ROVENANCE : Private collection, Belgium

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hese two newly discovered and unrecorded paintings are the only pair of pendant portraits by Frans Pourbus the Younger from his Antwerp period to remain together.1 The husband and wife have been identified through their respective coats-of-arms as Willem van Vyve and his wife Marie De Huelstre, and their commisioning almost certainly celebrates their marriage which took place in Bruges in 1591.2

1.The pendant to our An Unknown Man aged 56 (cat. no. 2) is in the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco, the pendant to Caterine van Damme (cat.3) is missing, and the artist’s portrait of Nicolas de Hellincx from 1592 is in the Museum of Fine arts, Antwerp, while his wife is in the National Gallery of Ireland. 2. With thanks to Jan D’hondt from the Bruges Archives for his assistance in identifying the sitters. Baptism registers in the parish of Saint-Saviour church, Bruges, also record the birth of a son to the couple on August 28th 1601. 3. P. Huvenne, Pierre Pourbus; Peintre Brugois, 1524-1584, Bruges 1984 Exh. Cat. no.19, pp.222-223. 4. B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus Le Jeune, pp.191-193, P.A.8 and P.A.9.

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The year 1591 has particular significance in the life of Pourbus, since this was the year the twenty-two year old was accepted into the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp, and the point at which he started his working life as a professional painter. His career began with an extraordinary flourish and with the six other works that we know from 1591, the addition of this pair makes eight paintings from one year - never again would he be so prolific. Stylistically it is instructive to compare this pair of portraits with the two others in this catalogue from 1591, those of the Unknown Man aged 56 (cat. no. 2) and Caterine van Damme (cat. no. 3). The latter two are undoubtedly bravura masterpieces of verisimilitude and have a level of finish that far exceeds the marriage portraits. Could this reflect that they were painted later in the year, after Van Vyve and his wife, when Pourbus had gained greater confidence, and perhaps they are even his very first works? The portrait of Marie de Huelstre, with a comparative lack of characterisation in her face, remains still, firmly fixed in the tradition of the previous generation of artists, such as Adriaen Thomasz. Key (c.1545 – c.1589), see for example Key’s Portrait of a Man and Portrait of a Woman, both at the Kunsthistorisches Museum,Vienna. Her display of jewellery is magnificent, as befits a marriage portrait: the gold chains, pomander, bracelets and rings all imply great wealth, as does the fine lace of her headdress and the sumptuous quality of her dress. All these elements are captured with great virtuosity. She is shown in marked contrast to the more sombre attire of her husband, Willem van Vyve, whose hand rests on a book, indicating his status as a man of letters and learning. Compositionally Willem van Vyve and his wife Marie de Huelstre also reflect the influence of Frans’s grandfather, Pieter Pourbus. As in Pieter’s portraits of Pierre Dominicle and his wife Livine van der Beke, from 1558 (European private collection), the husband holds gloves in his left hand and the wife a jeweled pomander suspended from a gold chain. Likewise, we see echoes of the tromp l’oeil of red ribbon above the wife’s coat-of-arms.3 It was a compositional device that Frans Pourbus the Younger replicated with portraits and subsequently with those of Nicolas de Hellincx (Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp) and the companion portrait of his wife (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin), the following year in 1592.4 It is worth noting too that whilst the portraiture of Pieter Pourbus was predominantly on a much smaller scale, to be viewed at close quarters in intimate family spaces, in contrast, those by Pourbus the Younger are predominantly on a larger scale. Their size reflects the burgeoning wealth of the growing middle classes, and their intended display in public areas of the house


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An Unknown Man, aged 56 Oil on panel: 46 ¾ × 38 in. (119 × 96.5 cm.) Inscribed upper left: ‘AN DNI.1591.’ and upper right: ‘AETATIS SUAE. 56/f.pourbus fil.fr.fecit’ Painted 1591 P ROVENANCE Elector Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655 – 1729), Schloß Weissenstein, Pommersfelden, Germany; thence by descent to Count Erwein Friedrich von Schönborn (1842 – 1903), His sale, ‘Tableaux Anciens...du Château de Pommersfelden’, Paris, C. Pillet, 17-18 May 1867, lot 201; where likely acquired by Alfred-Louis LeBoeuf de Montgermont (1841 – 1918); Sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 15 December 1959, lot 27; with Heim Gallery, Paris, 1962; Private Collection, Belgium from 1963 – 2014, Sale, Hôtel des ventes d’Enghien, Paris, 23 November 2014, lot 331. L IT ERAT URE J.R. Bys, Fürtrefflicher Gemähld-und Bilder-Schatz, So In denen Gallerie und Zimmern, des Churfürstl. Pommersfeldischen neu-erbauten fürtrefflichen Privat-Schloß zu finden ist, Bamberg, 1719. Reprinted by Bott, Weimar, 1997, p.29. Joseph Heller, Die graflich Schönborn’sche Gemälde-Sammlang zu Schlos Weisenstein in Pommersfelden, Bamberg, 1845, p.22. F.E. Thein, Katalog der Graflich von Schoenborn’schen Bilder-Gallerie zu Pommersfelden, Würzburg, 1857, p.75. Gustav Parthey, Deutscher Bildersaal: Verzeichniss in Deutschland der Maler vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener go Schule, Berlin, 1864, vol. II, p.279, no.8. Ludwig Burchard, Pourbus, Ulrich Thieme & Felix Becker, ‘Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler’, Leipzig, 1933, vol. XXVII. Blaise Ducos, Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622), Dijon, 2011, P.A.4 as ‘localisation inconnue’, pp.33-35 & pp.185-186, illus., & detail fig. 9.

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his is without doubt one of the finest portraits to be painted in the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century, and it is arguably the greatest head that Pourbus ever painted. Described in 1867 by the renowned art historian Thoré-Bürger as ‘a masterpiece of truth and expression’, it once formed part of one of the greatest art collections ever assembled, that of Elector Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655 – 1729), for his Schloß Weissenstein in Pommersfelden, Germany. There it hung in the great gallery with its pendant, the Portrait of a Lady aged 54 (see fig. 1), now in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco in California. As with the portrait of Caterine van Damme, in these his earliest works, painted for the merchant and patrician class, Pourbus achieved what could be described as a degree of ‘hyper realism’ that he never again attained in his later court portraiture. As Ducos astutely comments, our sitter is portrayed in a pose well established for princely portraits and depicted with a distinctive swagger not hitherto seen in portraits of the bourgeousie. As if to complement and emphasise the confidence of the patron as well as the artist himself, Pourbus decorates the painting with a bold and flourishing calligraphic signature and extraordinarily elaborately decorated inscriptions giving the sitter’s age as well as the date.

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3.FINAL

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It is worth noting that the use of a signature by portrait painters was still relatively uncommon in the southern Netherlands in the late sixteenth century, and the extravagant way that Pourbus consciously identifies his own hand in this, his very first year as a member of the guild, must reflect his high level of confidence and pride in his work. It is also interesting that Pourbus did not feel the need to sign the companion portrait of his wife (fig. 1). Apart from our portrait, additional examples of his calligraphic signature are his bust-length Unknown Man of 1591, (Temple Newsam House, West Yorkshire), his portrait of Frans Francken the Elder, (Ufizzi, Florence), c.1591, and finally, a similarly foliate calligraphy can be seen on a letter depicted in his portrait of Nicolas de Hellincx, Councillor of the King, 1592, (Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp), and on his portrait of Pieter Ryckaert, 1592 (Groeningemuseum, Bruges). The other fascinating aspect of the signatures from 1591 – 1593 are that he sometimes spelt his first name in full as Francisco. The added gravitas from using the full Latin form of his name would surely have appealed to the twentytwo year old artist. However, by the time he had left Antwerp to work at the courts in Brussels, Mantua and Paris, he thereafter only intermittently signed his work, and even then it was in a simpler roman script, for example as seen on the full-length portrait of Louis XIII (cat. no. 11). Unfortunately there is no other information available to help us identify our sitter or his profession. That he was a man of means can however be evidenced by the exquisite costume of his wife, whose detailed lace cuffs, ermine piping and silk petticoat reveal a woman determined to display her resources.

fig. 1 Frans Pourbus the Younger, An Unknown Lady aged 54, 1591, oil on panel, 39 ¼ × 29 in.(99.7 × 73.7 cm), © The Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco. The pair of portraits were sold separately and parted after the Pommersfelden sale in 1867.

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1. The castle, a mini Versailles, remains privately owned by the Schonborn family and still houses one of the largest and most important collections of Baroque art in the world.

We find our portrait first recorded in an inventory made of the Elector Schönborn’s collection in 1719 by his artistin-residence and gallery manager, Johann Rudolf Bys. By this time it included an impressive 480 works of art.1 The Elector was, after the Emperor, Germany’s most powerful man, holding offices as Elector and Archbishop of Mainz as well as Arch-chancellor and Prince-Bishop of Bamberg, and his collecting reflected his many and varied interests. Our portrait and its pendant were two of 146 paintings that were displayed in the Grand Galerie as part of a crowded hang that did not leave an inch to spare. We challenge our readers to identify it, and its companion, in the engraving below (see fig. 2). In 1867 the Elector’s descendant decided to hold a great sale in Paris of just part of the collection. The auction consisted of 280 paintings restricted to just the Dutch, Flemish and German schools, with a roll-call of many of the greatest artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, including three Rembrandts, six by Dou, seven by Wouwermans, a

fig. 2 Salomon Kleiner (1703 – 1761, Engraver), Vue intereure de la gallerie du Cote des Appartements, 1728, from Representation au naturel des chateaux de Weissenstein au dessus de Pommersfeld, et de celui de Geubach appartenants a la maison des comtes de Schönborn, Augsbourg, 1728, © The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

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magnificent and monumental Rubens, as well as works by Dürer and Cranach. Since this was such a significant event, Théophile Thoré-Bürger (1807 – 1869), one of the leading art historians of the day and specialist in Dutch paintings – most notably Vermeer and Hals – was employed to write the preface and assist in the cataloguing. As we have already noted, he was particularly impressed by the Pourbus, describing the head as a ‘masterpiece’, and going on to further comment that it was a ‘superb’ portrait. Given their distinguished provenance, and that many were masterpieces never seen by the public before, the paintings caused a sensation. There was fierce competition amongst the collectors and dealers to acquire them, with very high prices were achieved. Our portrait made 11,000 francs, which in today’s currency roughly equates to about $150,000, a princely sum at that time

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Caterine van Damme (1540 – 1622) Oil on panel: 41 ¾ × 29 ½ in. (106 × 75 cm.) Inscribed with an armorial of the de Groote family upper left, and upper right: ‘AETATIS SVAE 51/ ANNO DNI 1591’ Inscribed on the reverse of the panel: ‘IONCVRAVWE-CATERINE-VAN-DAMMEHVVSVRAVWF-VAN-MR-FRANCOIS-DE-CROOTE’

Painted 1591 P ROVENANCE Private collection, France. with The Weiss Gallery, 1997; Private collection, England. L IT ERAT URE The Weiss Gallery, Illustrious Company, 1998, no.8. B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune, Dijon, 2011, pp.184-185, no. P.A.3.

1. See Lars Hendrikman, ‘The van Orley Triptych’, www.monuments-nationaux.fr/ fichier/editions_ebook_chaptitre/711/Hedrickman.pdf. Accessed 14/2/14 2. We are grateful to Maarten Bassens for drawing our attention to this connection.

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n 1589, Pourbus, aged just 20, was employed to restore the altarpiece by Barent van Orley (1487 – 1581) in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, (see fig. 1), something of which he was clearly proud, signing the lower right panel ‘Fransiscvs Povrbvs Ivnior fecit 1590’.1 We can assume that it was through this commission that Pourbus first met our sitter Caterine van Damme, whose husband at that time was Jan Jacobs (d.1584), the Churchwarden (Kerkmeester) there.2 Caterine’s pose has an almost sculptural monumentality, and here wealth and austerity sit side by side for the richness of her two gold bracelets, her gemstone rings and the pendant cross with baroque pearl drops belie the costume’s relative simplicity, as do the discreet jet beads that gently gleam from its trimmings. Recent study by infrared reflectology and X-ray has revealed the artist used significant underpainting which is covering any underdrawing that might be there.These preparatory paint layers are worked in a very precise and controlled manner through the application of many short strokes to build up the modelling of physiognomy with remarkable verisimilitude. A major pentiment has also been confirmed with the heavy gold chain that she wears having been reworked by the artist to give a prominence to the sitter’s hands. It is almost certain that this portrait must have been a pendant to a now lost portrait of her second husband François de Groote who was a Juris sciens (doctor of law), and who died c.1604. Caterine lived to be eighty-two, a remarkable old age for the time, and was herself ultimately buried in 1622 in the church’s Sacramentskapel. This powerful portrayal of a woman prematurely aged, makes for an excellent juxtaposition with the previous portrait of an Unknown Man aged 56. Both are painted with a technique of the highest order and an unerring degree of naturalism, their skin and hair revealed as if under a microscope. They can be regarded as the culmination of the great artistic traditions the artist had inherited, after which he would go on to develop his own distinctive style as court painter in following two decades

fig. 1 Barend Van Orley, Golgotha, 1534 (extended by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder in 1561, restored by Frans Pourbus the Younger in 1590), oil on panel, middle panel: 375 × 299 cm, side panels: 139 × 156 cm, © Kerk O.L.Vrouw, Brugge

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An Unknown Man with a Book (1547 – 1606) Oil on panel: 26 3⁄8 × 20 ¼ in. (67.1 × 51.4 cm) with a 19th century continental red wax armorial seal on the reverse Painted circa 1591 - 1593 P ROVENANCE Sotheby’s, London, 21 April 1982, lot 54 (as ‘Willem Key’); European private collection; Christie’s, London, 8 December 1995, lot 240 (as ‘Willem Key’); European private collection; Christie’s, London, 9 December 2005, lot 222 (as ‘North Italian School, c.1560’); with The Weiss Gallery, 2005 – 2006; acquired by the de Bode Family Trust, on loan to the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (2006 – 2012) L IT ERAT URE J. Israel, Conflicts of Empires, Spain, the Low Countries, and the Struggle for World Supremacy 1585 – 1713, London 1997, pp.5-7. The Weiss Gallery, A fashionable likeness; early portraiture 1550 – 1710, London 2006, no15. K. Jonckheere, Adriaen Thomasz. Key (c.1545 – c. 1589): Portrait of a Calvanist Painter, Turnhout 2007, A76, pp.110 – 111 & 288 (as Adriaen Thomasz. Key). B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus the Younger, Dijon 2011, no.P.A.7, p.190. The Weiss Gallery, The Captured Eye, 2013, no.15.

W 1. Op. cit

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hen this particularly well preserved bust portrait was first published by the Weiss Gallery in 2006, it was proposed that the sitter perhaps represented the humanist scholar Justus Lipsius (1547 - 1606) and that it was datable to when the artist was working in Brussels. However, Ducos in his monograph more correctly considers the portrait to date from c.1593/4, stating ‘ultimately it is the affinity with Pourbus’s Antwerp production that underlies our assertion that the portrait was painted in the city on the River Scheldt rather than elsewhere’.1 Ducos also corrects Koenraad Jonckheere’s assertion that the portrait was painted by Adriaen Thomasz. Key, pointing out that the gesture of the hand on the book with the fingers holding the pages open was a relatively commonplace idiom in 16th century portraiture, indeed an elegant way of adding variety. Critically, the portrait displays all the hallmarks of Pourbus’s remarkable technique, capturing the physiognomy of the sitter with astonishing precision. His flesh is remarkably modelled, the beard tactile and the differing textures of his doublet and gown are sensitively rendered, elements that are in particular closely comparable to the portrait of An Unknown Man aged 56 (cat. no. 2). As for the sitter’s identity, it remains a matter for continuing conjecture


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An Unknown Man Oil on oval panel: 19 × 15 in. (49 × 39 cm.) Painted circa 1594 P ROVENANCE with Guy Stein,1 Paris, 1935, by whom sold to Arthur Sambon; Private collection, USA, until 2012; with The Weiss Gallery, 2012; Private collection, Paris. L IT ERAT URE B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, Dijon 2011, p.196, no. P.A.13. The Weiss Gallery, The Captured Eye, 2013, no.14. EXHIBITED Paris, La Galerie Stein, 2 rue La Boetie, 1935, no.12.

A 1. The existence of this panel in the Stein collection in Paris, 1935, is known through documentation by Max J. Friedlander in 1936 (courtesy of the RKD). 2. Ducos, op. cit.

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s in the previous portraits, utilising his prodigious and assured technique, Pourbus has again captured a powerful, yet intimate, portrayal with an extraordinary degree of realism and a polished finish. Since the unidentifiable sitter does not display any aristocratic or courtly attributes, Ducos dates the painting to circa 1594, shortly before Pourbus began his employment at the archducal court in Brussels. With its rare oval format, it would seem to be a very personal portrait, painted for close inspection, almost like a large-scale miniature. The unknown man engages the viewer with an intense, direct gaze, as he would have the artist, who in turn has minutely observed his refined and ageing face. His black doublet with discreet slashes, revealing tiny windows of red silk, is the informal wear of one who has sat to the artist without pretention or self-aggrandisement. It could well be that the sitter was someone that Pourbus knew well, since the painting has an introspection that has been captured with the intensity often found in self-portraiture. Ducos has also commented of the portrait that ‘an internal tension is clearly aparent… conveying a sense of moral authority.’2


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SOLD by THE WEISS GALLERY ~ 2012

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Brussels: 1594 ~ 1600


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1594 ~ 1600 B RU S S E L S : T H E A R C H D U C A L C O U RT

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aving gained entry and employment within the service of the governors of the southern Netherlands, firstly Archduke Ernest of Austria who died in 1595 and subsequently his successors, Archduke Albert of Austria and his wife, the Spanish Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, Pourbus was for the very first time required to produce a type of portrait which was completely alien to anything he had previously done before – the full-length. These icons of power, both regal and military, were on a scale and complexity far beyond anything he was required to produce for his patrons in Antwerp, and they served a completely different purpose. Whilst based in Antwerp his clientele required portraits that were to be displayed in their own home, and on a scale no larger than three-quarter length. As we have seen in the previous six works, the predominantly Calvinist sitters’ costumes are for the most part sombre and restrained, with only the marriage portrait of Marie de Huelstre showing any semblance of extravagance through her jewellery and beautiful lace. These are portraits for private appreciation. Once in Brussels, all this changes. I will pass over the supposedly first full-length portrait dating from 1594, a portrait which depicts Archduke Ernest (Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, Madrid), and which Ducos publishes as being autograph. However, based on the illustration, to my eye the portrait looks to be by another hand and instead I would like to discuss an indubitable masterpiece – the portrait of Archduke Albert which is in the same collection (see fig. 1 under cat. no. 6). This is a portrait of the highest quality, and clearly one of Pourbus’s very best. It is a remarkable achievement for such a young painter, with no previous experience of court portraiture or indeed exposure, to have produced such a work at his first attempt. However, we must assume that he had had the opportunity to assimilate some of the necessary iconography from earlier Hapsburg court portraiture that decorated the Brussels palaces and government buildings. One such could well have been a copy of the 1560 portrait of Philip II by Anthonisz. Mor (1517 – 1577), the original of which is today in the Escorial, from which Pourbus likely drew inspiration.

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In his portrait of the Archduke, as with its companion of the Archduchess Isabella, Pourbus utilises the same remarkable technique that he used to such great effect in the powerful head studies of his earlier portraiture from Antwerp, but now this is brought to bear in recreating the magnificent regal costumes and accoutrements of power and wealth. So much so, that it is the costumes which now demand the viewer’s attention, rather than the sitters’ features and true character. Naturally enough, with the need to capture the richness of the materials, Pourbus’s palette from hence on became much more colourful, with a predominance of golds and reds. Another immediately noticeable development, indeed progression, is the introduction of a sense of space and depth around his sitters. These two portraits are archetypal examples of what the royal and princely rulers of Europe required from their court painters. They were created to convey authority and in many instances formed part of a dynastic heritage to be hung in great halls with other similarly grand portraits of their family, predecessors and political allies.From such full-lengths, the artist and/or studio would then be required to produce replicas, often smaller - either three-quarter or bust-length – to be dispersed as diplomatic gifts or to supporters of the realm. Another significant point worth mentioning is that Philip II had stipulated that only Catholics could be within the employ of the Hapsburg court in Brussels. It is unclear whether or not Pourbus, who came from a Calvinist family, actually converted but the fact that all his subsequent employers in Italy and France were Catholic too would suggest that he must at least have had to adapt his religious beliefs to some extent. Perhaps surprisingly, apart from these two state portraits, no other examples of Pourbus’s work are known from his time in Brussels, and on the 10th September 1600 he left the Netherlands to begin his journey to Italy, and begin his employment with Vicenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

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Archduke Albert VII of Austria (1559 – 1621 ) Oil on card, oval: 3 1⁄8 × 2 ½ in. (8 × 6.5 cm.) Painted circa 1600 P ROVENANCE Private collection, London, by whom sold Christie’s, London, 15 October 1996, lot 125; Private collection, Belgium until 2012; Christie’s, London, 27 - 28 November 2012, lot 290; with The Weiss Gallery, 2013; The Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, Texas L IT ERAT URE The Weiss Gallery, The Captured Eye, 2013, no.16.

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his exquisitely detailed miniature of the Archduke Albert VII of Austria derives from the full-length portrait of the sitter by the artist, painted around 1599 – 1600, now in the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid, (fig. 1). Notably in the miniature he wears full armour, whereas in the full-length, he is shown in a breastplate. Pourbus has meticulously rendered every tiny hair, loop of lace, golden curlicue and play of light across the Archduke’s face and armour with a near-microscopic vision. His pleasure in the medium of a miniature is apparent in the magnification (or more precisely, diminution) of his already prodigious attention to detail. The characterisation of the Archduke’s face, his heavy-lidded and slightly weary eyes, full Hapsburg lips, flush of his cheeks and sheen across his nose all convey a remarkably believable likeness.

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Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, was the third son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Habsburg. After the death of his brother Archduke Ernst in 1595, he was sent to Brussels to succeed as Governor General of the Hapsburg Netherlands. He presumably commissioned the full-length on which the present miniature was based in 1599 when he relinquished his orders (with special dispensation from the Pope), to celebrate his marriage to the Infanta Isabella, daughter of Philip II of Spain. Albert and Isabella were joint sovereigns of the Hapsburg Netherlands until the Archduke’s death in 1621, ruling the territories in the southern Low Countries and the north of modern France. The miniature would have been one of a number commissioned from the artist by the Archduke to distribute to loyal courtiers and foreign emissaries, presumably with a pendant miniature of the Archduchess (based on the full-length pendant to the Archduke’s portrait of 1599, likewise in the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, Madrid). One such pair of miniatures can today be found at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, Scotland (National Trust for Scotland), of the same dimensions and design

fig. 1 Frans Pourbus the Younger, Archduke Albert VII of Austria (1559 – 1621), 1599, oil on canvas, 89 × 51 1⁄2 in. (226 × 131 cm.), © Descalzas Reales-Coleccion, Madrid

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1600 ~ 1608 T H E C O U RT O F V I N C E N Z O G O N Z AG A

A 1. R. Morselli, Vincenzo *RQ]DJDHODSLWWXUDÀDPPLQJD alla corte di Mantova. Spigolature su Pourbus e Rubens, in “/D.RQVWNDPHULWDOLDQDµ ,ÀDPPLQJKLQHOOHFROOH]LRQL italiane all’età di Rubens, papers from the conference in Rome, 9, 10 December 2004, in Bulletin de l’Institut +LVWRULTXH%HOJHGH5RPH, LXXVI 2006, pp.137-170. 2. A. Bacchet, “François Porbus. Peintre de portraits à la cour de Mantoue (1600-1610)”, in: Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 25 (1868) 2, p.280-281.

t the turn of the 17th Century, Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua sought to cultivate a more visible role for his small duchy, which was a fiefdom of the Hapsburg empire, on the larger European stage, fostering a culturally sophisticated and luxurious court by securing the services of internationally famous artists, notably Frans Pourbus the Younger as well as Peter Paul Rubens. As part of this process in the summer of 1599, the duke urged on by his voracious love of art visited the studios of many of the painters in Antwerp, likewise meeting the city’s most prolific collectors, and buying paintings, precious objects, and miniatures.1 The centre of his excursions in Flanders remained the court in Brussels of Archdukes Albert and Isabella, who treated him with great affection and respect. It was during this trip that he met Pourbus, offering him a position in his service as official portraitist for the Gonzaga court. This decision was the culmination of a long process to define his official iconography, to promote his family in the sphere of the European courts with which he had made political alliances. There can be no doubt that Pourbus’s growing familiarity with princely milieu in Brussels would have helped him in his appointment as Vincenzo’s court painter. The duke was not looking for just any painter; he had already tried out a good many for the position of court portraitist including Italian artists such as Domenico Tintoretto, Ottavio Leoni, Federico Zuccari, Jacopo Ligozzi. Now his full intent was to find a qualified specialist who would take care of his and his family’s needs on a steady basis, a trusted painter who was used to the rules of the court and already familiar with the Hapsburg protocol, erudite enough to know Latin and to learn Italian and French quickly, courteous and well-mannered, who knew how to dress elegantly and interact comfortably with the many sovereigns whom he would have to visit and portray. Vincenzo wanted a painter who would fit well into his delegation travelling all over Europe, one who would not be insubordinate and whom his influential wife Eleonora de’ Medici would also find agreeable. There were not many portraitists in Europe with these characteristics, and Vincenzo, as usual, managed to hire the best. However, almost one year after the Duke’s visit to Flanders, the painter still had not appeared. Vincenzo therefore wrote on the 10th of August 1600 to his correspondent Francesco Marini in Brussels to urge Pourbus to undertake the voyage as quickly as possible. Marini replied on 2 September: ‘J’ai parlé au peintre. Il m’a juré de partir dans huit jours’. And eventually, perhaps feeling some indecision the artist left the Netherlands on the 10th of September, arriving at the Mantuan court at the end of October.2 As the duke’s painter he now took his place in a court that had an epic, chivalric image of itself, a court worthy of a king, as contemporary sources report.

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3. R. Piccinelli, 7KH3RVLWLRQ RI$UWLVWVDWWKH*RQ]DJD&RXUW (1587-1707), in 7KH&RXUW $UWLVWVLQ6HYHQWHHQWK&HQWXU\ ,WDO\, ed. by E. Fumagalli, R. Morselli, Rome, Viella, 2014, pp.167-198:180. 4. Marco Boschini to Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici in a letter of 22 June 1675, in Karla Langedijk, Die selbstbildnisse GHUKDROODQGLVFKHVXQG IDOPLVFKHQ.XQVWOHULQGHU Galleria degli Autoritratti in GHU8IĂ€]LHQLQ)ORUHQ]D 6DPPOXQJGHU.XQVWOHUELOGQLV LQGHUJDOOHULDGHJOL8IĂ€]L LQ)ORUHQ]GLHKOODQGHUXQG )ODPHQ(Medicea: Florence 1992) p.298. 5. A. Luzio/DJDOOHULDGHL *RQ]DJDYHQGXWDDOO¡,QJKLOWHUUD QHO'RFXPHQWLGHJOL $UFKLYLGL0DQWRYDH/RQGUD raccolti ed illustrati da Alessandro Luzio, (Bardi: Rome 1913) 1913, p.278. 6. Luzio, op. cit., 1913, p.276.

In the early years of the seventeenth century, there were between 530 and 650 mouths to feed registered at the ducal palace.3 This was a universe made up of other painters, actors, musicians, poets, singers, composers, set designers, meat carvers, historians, and scientists of international prominence. But Francesco Purbis as he was now called, was not just one in a crowd: the duke ‘kept him with every term and dignity’4 and had hired him, on an annual salary, as the ‘painter with the golden key’, according to Federico Zuccari who had met him right there at court, very elegantly dressed. In other words, he was so close to the duke as to be able to move about freely among all his rooms, even his private apartment. We do not know the terms of his contract, nor even his annual salary, since the records of the Gonzaga treasury concerning the court payrolls are lacking between 1600 and 1621. Nonetheless, in the correspondence Pourbus signs his name as ‘servant of the duke of Mantua’, indicating in this way that he was on the payroll. As ‘most faithful servant of the house’ he probably drew a salary equal to that of the prefect of the buildings. The painter thus held a top position within the court, with a suitable salary, to which should be added everything concerning his clothing, lodging, supplies and equipment for his studio, payment of his assistants, food, travel, and personal expenses. This would seem like a great privilege, but when he arrived in Paris he compared it immediately with the amount given him for a portrait ‘without hands’ and without having established a price beforehand. He wrote immediately directly to Duke Vincenzo in Mantua on 20 January 1610, as though to point out that his economic treatment in Mantua was decidedly inferior.5 As for the painter’s studio and his modus operandi, we can only compare epistolary documents. Since he was in close contact with the ducal family, we can hypothesise that his studio was located close to Vincenzo’s apartment in Corte Nuova, perhaps in some rooms on the lower floor. Certainly his paints and canvases were supplied from the ducal storerooms; some of his portraits from his Mantuan period are painted on canvases of the same size and similar type. By virtue of his status, he must have had access to the ducal wardrobe, from which he took the sumptuous clothes of the duchess and princesses, the breast-plates and helmets worn by the duke and princes, the jewels adorning their heads and their clothes. The painter’s working methods were very fast, and in just two sittings he managed to sketch out on the canvas an entire portrait with his model in front of him, according to the report by ambassador Alessandro da Ro to the court at Turin on 10 January 1606 concerning the portrait of Margherita di Savoia.6 Then came the time taken to work out

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the portrait in the studio; painting in detail the ‘face, collar, and dress’, paying close attention to the ‘heads’ and hair, the last part to which Pourbus set his hand. If he was in a hurry he finished the face and hands first, leaving an assistant the task of finishing the dress.

7. U. Rossi, )UDQFHVFR Pourbus il giovane a Parigi, in $UFKLYLR storico dell’arte, 17, 1889, pp. 404-408.

Over the years this practice, refined in Mantua, became the basis for his price list: Matteo Botti, Tuscan ambassador to the court of France, wrote to Grand Duke Francesco de’ Medici on 6 July 1611 that for Pourbus portraits are understood as full-figure or halffigure, and if the artist also painted the dress himself the portrait cost 100 scudi, while if the clothes were painted by his assistant the price came down to 50 scudi but with the figure designed by him and the head and hands done by him personally.7 This was a considerable price for that period, which only in the following decade would become the international standard for painters of the first rank. Coinciding almost exactly with the time that he was in Mantua, another even greater painter from Antwerp was also in the employ of Gonzaga – the young genius Rubens, whose own career was just beginning. However, at Rubens own request, the paintings commissioned from him were predominantly religious and mythological works rather than simply portraiture, reflecting the young artist’s desire to be recognised as a history painter, whose status at this time was considered higher than that of a portrait painter. Rubens, like Pourbus, was also sent to travel to other cities and courts to act as agent in the pursuit of great works of art to add to the connoisseur Gonzaga’s burgeoning collection; and equally they both too performed the roles of diplomats and cultural ambassadors, with Pourbus specifically playing an significant part in assisting Gonzaga achieve the most important goals of his political ambitions. Pourbus’s missions to Innsbruck (and perhaps Graz) n 1603, to Turin between 1605 and 1606, to Nancy and Paris in 1606, to Naples and Rome in 1607 were all aimed at creating alliances and promoting the splendour of the Gonzaga court. Another very important task that Pourbus was commissioned to execute was the creation of a Gallery of Beauties. In a letter Gonzaga wrote: ‘I am having a room built in which I am thinking of gathering portraits of the most beautiful women in the world’. There was nobody better suited to assist in fulfilling this commission than Pourbus. During his years in Mantua, the duke kept tight control over Pourbus, to the point that in early 1607 – the same year in which Rubens sought his own independence, though his role had been much freer and multifaceted – the painter wrote to nineteen-year-old Ferdinando

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8. Armand Baschet, )UDQFRLV3RXUEXV3HLQWUHV des portraits Ă la cour de 0DQWRXH in Gazette des Beaux arts, vol. 25, 1868, pp. 439-440. The letter is dated 15 January 1607, from Francesco Pourbus to Ferdinando Gonzaga. 9. Luzio, op. cit., 1913, p.278. 10. Raffaella Morselli and Elena Fumagalli, Introduction to 7KH &RXUW$UWLVWLQ6HYHQWHHQWK &HQWXU\,WDO\, pp.11-20, edited by Elena Fumagalli and Raffaella Morselli, Viella s.r.l., Rome, 2014. 11. Letter from Annibale Chieppio to Giovanni Magni of 25 August 1607, in B. Furlotti, Il FDUWHJJLRWUD5RPDH0DQWRYD (1587-1612), Cinisello Balsamo (MI), 2003, p. 499. 12. Paris, 19 August 1606, from Ferrando Persia to the duke: â€œâ€Ś Hieri messer Francesco pittore fece il ritratto della Reina et incontrò cosĂŹ bene l’aria che non manca se non lo spirito; dimani anderĂ  a S.Germano SHUIDULO'HOĂ€QRHWODĂ€JOLDSL grande. Egli desiderava di andar in Fiandra et anche trattenersi in Francia qualche giorni, ma Madama Serenissima per la brevitĂ  del tempo et per ricondurlo seco in Italia conforme all’ordine di V.A. non ha voluto, et egli si è acquietato se bene non troppo di buona voglia, tuttavia ha mostrato di stimar molto il gusto dell’A.V. et di Madamaâ€?. ASMn, AG, b. 717, fols. 134v-135r. Other letters from Margherita to her brother, mother, and father from the fall of 1606 refer to a passage by Pourbus, who evidently was supposed to return to Nancy before going back to Mantua with Eleonora and Ferdinando from Paris. I thank Roberta Piccinelli for pointing this out to me.

Gonzaga, not yet a cardinal, who was putting pressure on him for a portrait, ‘I am not my own master, being obligated to the Most Serene Lord Duke, I cannot work with the same readiness that I could do if I were free’.8 In the same letter, a bit reluctantly, he admitted that he had a very restrictive contract with Vincenzo, ‘since I am obligated to account for all the works that pass through my hands.’ Even the duke’s wife, Eleonora de’ Medici, at the end of the summer of that same year, would be forced to beg her husband to send the painter to Paris for two or three months, in response to a request from her sister the queen Marie de’ Medici.9 Pourbus had to play to the letter his role of privileged court painter just as it had been passed on to him by the court at Brussels and was the practice of all the other courts in Europe.10 The correspondence between the painter and the family of Vincenzo Gonzaga during his nine years in Mantua shows how fond they had become of the painter.Vincenzo, Eleonora, Francesco, and Ferdinando all wrote to him directly, and he too addressed them without intermediaries, even when he was on a mission outside the ducal territory, without having to go through the ducal secretaries. The duchess, for example, worried about his health when he took a trip to Naples in 1607 to appraise the paintings belonging to the prince of Conca and insisted peremptorily that he stop and rest in Rome.11 In the duke’s absence she was always the one to give the painter his precise orders; during his itinerant travels to Nancy and Paris in the summer of 1606, when Pourbus probably accompanied the duchess, Ferdinando and his sister Margherita to meet her husband Henry II, duke of Lorraine, and then went on to Paris with just the duchess and Ferdinando for the baptism of the Dauphin, Eleonora forbade him to prolong his trip as far as Flanders and commanded him to return to Mantua with all his entourage.12 There can be no doubt that whilst in the employ of Gonzaga, Pourbus consistently produced his finest works. The portraits from this period have a distinctive deep richness of palette and are imbued with an element of dark drama that gives them an intensity not found in the court portraits that Pourbus would go on to paint in the final chapter of his career in Paris

Professor Rafaella Morselli

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Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1562 – 1612) Oil on canvas: 79 ½ × 44 in. (202 × 112 cm.) Painted circa 1600 – 1601 P ROVENANCE By descent within the Gonzaga ducal collection; After the sack of Mantua in 1630, it was likely saved and remained in the city with the Ducal magistrate Massimiliano Privata, thence by descent to Massimiliano Cavriani, Mantua, until its sale in 2009; Private collection, Rome E HHIB IT ED Gonzaga La Celeste Galeria Le Raccolte, Mantua, Palazzo Te – Palazzo Ducale, 2 September to 8 December 2002. p.187, no.26. L IT ERAT URE S. Lapenta, R. Morselli, Le Collezioni Gonzaga. La Quadreria nell’elenco dei beni de 1626 – 1627. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, Silvana Editoriale, 2006, p.241. (where the extensive earlier literature is listed) R. Morselli, Vincenzo Gonzaga e la pittura fiamminga alla corte di Mantova. Spigolature su Pourbus e Rubens, in “La Konstkamer italiana”. I fiamminghi nelle collezioni italiane all’età di Rubens, papers from the conference in Rome, 9-10 December 2004. Bulletin de l’Institut Historique Belge de Rome, LXXVI 2008, pp.147 & 152. (where dated to 1604 – 1606). B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, Dijon 2011, p.196, no. P.A.18, pp.202 – 203.

1. It is not to be confused with the picture, of the same subject and the same dimensions, today at Tatton Park, Cheshire. 2. C. Ruelens, Correspondance de Rubens et documents épistolaires concernant sa vie et ses œuvres (Codex Diplomaticus Rubenianus. Documents relatifs à la vie et aux œuvres de Rubens; 1), Antwerp, 1887, p.226, no.LV.

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his magnificent masterpiece may well have been Pourbus’s first commission after his arrival in Mantua in 1600. The portrait is described in an inventory dating from 1626 – 1627 where it is numbered 910 and described as ‘Un altro ritrato del serenissimo dignore duca Vincenzo in piedi, con cornici fregiate d’oro, di mano del sodetto [Francesco Urbis], stimato lire 300.V.’1 The recent illustrated edition of this historic inventory places the portrait between that of Margherita Gonzaga and Margherita of Savoy, replicating the probable sequence in which they were initially hung in situ at Mantua. Utilising the similar concept of placing his sitter under theatrical velvet drapes, Pourbus has adapted and elaborated on the design he first used for the portrait he had painted only a year or two earlier in Brussels of the Archduke Albert. However for this state portrait, the sovereign presides against the backdrop of his city and his ducal palace, above which rises the little dome of the palace chapel dedicated to Saint Barbara, now disastrously destroyed in the earthquake of 2012. The painting shows how quickly Pourbus had already immersed himself in the study of the Venetian painters represented in the duke’s picture gallery, Titian first and foremost. His encounter with them produced a sort of visual shock which warmed his palette and placed him in competition with earlier sixteenth-century portraiture. Gonzaga is similarly depicted holding the baton of a commander and wearing ceremonial armour, though now at his feet are a helmet and gauntlets worthy of a Renaissance prince. A very similar helmet that belonged to the sitter from 1595 and attributed to Pompeo della Cesa can be seen today in the Poldi-Pezzoli museum in Milan. The bodice features the emblem of the crescent moon enclosing the monogram ‘SIC’ (Sic Illustrior Crescam), adopted by the Duke from 1595 after his participation in the crusades led by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II against the Turks in Hungary.The decoration of his armour however is very much 17th-century in fashion – nothing, here, of the monsters and chimeras that graced mannerist pieces. It may well be that Pourbus consciously chose not to portray his subject wearing parade armour, preferring to draw inspiration, as Titian had, from the sculpture of the Emperor Claudius, part of the great Caesars series in Gonzaga’s collection. The Duke proudly wears the order of the Golden Fleece, conferred by Philip II in 1589, and placed in the centre of the composition by Pourbus, serving to highlight the status of the duchy of Mantua.

Between 1600 and 1609, Pourbus was joined in Mantua by another Flemish artist, the then ‘lesser-known’ Peter Paul Rubens, who would work intermittently for the Duke of Mantua until 1608. It was mostly Pourbus, however, who was assigned the task of producing the formal court portraits and the duke’s gallery of ‘beauties’. Rubens, on the other hand, explicitly asked the duke to be deployed for ‘more elevated works’:“A me bastava il pretesto ancor che vile di ritratti per ingresso a cose maggiori …”.2

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Ferdinando Gonzaga, later Duke of Mantua (1587 – 1626) Oil on canvas: 25 1⁄4 × 19 in. (64 48 cm.) Inscribed on the breastplate: ‘NVLLA SALVS’; and with a collector’s seal to the reverse of the canvas, with monogrammed initials ‘HE’ Painted circa 1602 – 1603

1. F. Huemer, Portraits Painted in Foreign Countries (Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, Vol. XIX.1), 1977, p.30. 2. It is also worth noting how a strategically placed lock of hair falls over the upper part of the boy’s ear, an omnipresent feature of portraits of his father Vincenzo, which arose from the Duke’s own eccentric preference in dressing his ears (see Bodart, San Martino al Cimino, 1999, p.172). 3.“181. Un’altra simile armaturina fornita come sopra dell’Eccme. Sig. Don Ferdinde.” See: J. Mann, “The Lost Armoury of the Gonzagas”, The Archaeological Journal, 95 (1938) 2, p.332-333.

PROVENANCE Presumably commissioned by the sitter’s father, Vincenzo I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1562 – 1612); In the collection of Le Brun, Milan; A. Genolini, Milan, 20 – 24 November 1899, lot 62, (as ‘Allori Angelo detto il Bronzino’ with unidentified sitter); Farsietti, Prato, 9 November 2013, lot 201; with The Weiss Gallery, London, 2013; Private collection, Belgium.

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his previously unpublished portrait depicts Ferdinando Gonzaga, the Duke of Mantua’s second son. Aged about fifteen, the young boy still with a ‘baby-faced appearance’1 typical of the family and he faces the spectator with the air of a young and confident ruler.2 The play of light and shadow fully emphasizes his face contrasting against the dark background. Even though it remains mostly hidden in the darkness, Pourbus applied his delicate skills to render the costly armour with its inlaid gilded motif. In the Gonzaga’s armoury inventory of 1604, amidst the different amounts of halberds, gauntlets and pistols, mention is made of ‘a boy’s armour… which belonged to his excellency Don Ferdinando.’3 Whilst it is difficult to directly link this actual armour to that reference, its inclusion in this portrait mimics the martial depiction of his father, and perhaps reflects Vincenzo’s aspirations for his son to be a manly Renaissance prince.The portrait may well have been painted as a companion to that of his infant sister, Eleonora Gonzaga (1598 – 1655), c.1602, now in the Pitti Palace, Florence, (fig. 1). Both portraits are of nearly identical dimensions, similar composition and style of rendering, and possess a certain baroque appeal in truthfulness, sensuousness and colouring. One reads from time to time how Pourbus was not really influenced by his Italian surroundings and vice versa. Nothing is farther from the truth. Although the present picture clearly testifies to the skills of the Flemish artist, it is worth noting that in the past it was wrongly attributed to Angelo Bronzino (when sold during the auction of the collection of Le Brun in 1899). Likewise, Pourbus’s portrait of Ferdinando as a cardinal has in the past been erroneously attributed to Domenico Zampieri, il Domenichino. While our portrait displays the trappings of officialdom in its pose and formal costume, it is nevertheless profoundly naturalistic.

fig. 1 Frans Pourbus the Younger, Eleonora Gonzaga (1598 – 1655), c.1602, oil on canvas, 25 × 20 in. (63.5 × 50.8 cm.), © Pitti Palace, Florence

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Ferdinando’s damascened ceremonial breastplate is decorated with a gilt scheme that loosely echoes that seen in his father’s, Vincenzo Gonzaga (cat. no. 7). However, Ferdinando’s armour is personalised with an impresa (see detail below) of the Gonzaga motto ‘Nulla salus [bello]’, [‘there is no salvation in war’], with a sceptre in the middle of two crossed lances, a saying taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, book XI, line 362. This impresa and motto were taken on various occasions by different members of the Gonzaga household, and were also painted in the ducal palace in Mantua on the ceiling of the picture gallery and in Guastalla’s apartment.1 In the context of Ferdinando’s future affiliation to the church, ‘nulla salus’ could perhaps also be understood in relation to the Catholic saying, ‘extra ecclesiam nulla salus’, [‘outside the church there is no salvation’]. As the younger son, he was intended for a life in the Church, and indeed in December 1607 as a twenty-year-old, he was appointed cardinal deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica. At that time Pourbus was commissioned to paint Ferdinando again, half-length, in his red cardinal’s robes and hat now in the the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna. (fig. 2).

Ferdinando was obliged to renounce his ecclesiastical career when his elder brother, Duke Francesco IV, died in 1612 without heirs. He succeeded in both the Duchy of Mantua and the Duchy of Montferrat, and in 1616 secretly married his lover Camilla Faa di Bruno, whom he was made to divorce the same year. On 16 February 1617 he married secondly and more strategically, Catherine de’Medici (1593 – 1629), daughter of his great-uncle, and namesake, Ferdinando I, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Remarkably Ferdinando proved to be an even more extravagant collector than his father, embarking also on such costly rebuilding of the Mantuan palace that the state became increasingly burdened with unsustainable debts. The only way out was a sale of the Gonzaga art collection that had been accumulated over the previous century. Negotiations began in 1626 to sell ninety of the finest paintings – including works by Caravaggio, Mantegna, Raphael, Rubens and Titian – as well as some two hundred sculptures to the voracious collector Charles I. However Ferdinando died before the transaction could be completed, and his successor – his younger brother – Vicenzo II became so fearful of the reaction of his subjects to the sale that it was completed in secrecy. With the influx of so many great works of art, Charles I’s collection instantly became one of the greatest in Europe. Vincenzo II died soon after in December 1627, and with his death the Gonzaga line became extinct. With no immediate heir, there then began the War of Succession between France and the Hapsburgs for control of Mantua and the north of Italy resulting in the city being sacked in 1630

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fig. 2 Frans Pourbus the Younger, Ferdinando Gonzaga as a Cardinal, c.1607, oil on canvas, 34 ½ × 26 in. (88 × 66 cm.), © Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

We are grateful to Maarten Bassens for his assistance in the research for this catalogue entry

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9

Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Lorraine (1591 – 1632) Oil on canvas: 40 × 30 ¾ in. (102 × 78 cm.) Painted circa 1606 PROVENANCE Presumably commissioned for Henri II, Duke of Lorraine; Sale, ‘Après Décès de Mme Veuve Cattier...’, Paris, 10 January 1873, lot 13, as ‘École Française – Portrait de femme’, (according to an old label formerly on the reverse of the old stretcher); Private collection France; Private collection, Switzerland, until 2014.

1. Archivio di Stato di Mantova, Archivio Gonzaga, b. 1537, f. III, fols. 411-412.

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his sumptuous portrait of Margherita Gonzaga, is another new and very exciting discovery. Close study of the costume and jewelery, allied to documentary evidence, enables us to convincingly identify this as the marriage portrait made on the occasion of her wedding in Mantua in 1606. The iconography of Margherita Gonzaga of Lorraine has a complex history. The young princess had become the centre of attention a year earlier in 1605, when news spread of her betrothal to Henry II of Lorraine. To celebrate this event Vincenzo Gonzaga had commissioned Pourbus to paint an official full-length portrait (Florence, Palazzo Pitti), (fig.1). Already several months before this, the duke had received official requests from reigning houses and ambassadors for a picture of the princess. Testimonial of this is a letter from Venice dated 22 October 1605 in which Nicolas Regnault asked, on behalf of the French ambassadress to Venice, Madame Fresnes de Canaye, for the portrait of the ‘princess who is to become the duchess of Lorraine.’ She wanted to hang it in her home, but since there were no images of the future bride that could be copied in Venice, Regnault begged Vincenzo to be able to ask for one from the ‘painter of your Most Serene Highness’, i.e., Pourbus. He offered to pay whatever the artist desired, if only the Duke would authorise it.1 We do not know if this commission, or a similar one, resulted in one or other of the two three-quarter length portraits attributed by Ducos to Pourbus and studio and datable to 1606 (New York, Metropolitan Museum, and Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes). The jewels she wears in the full-length portrait in Florence were her mother’s but she is not yet wearing the rectangular engagement ring with a central diamond. Another full-length portrait, which I believe should be placed after the wedding, is the one from which the three-quarter portrait in Vicenza derives (Pinacoteca Civica), in which the young woman is wearing a dress decorated with a herringbone and coronet motif on an ivory background. The existence of a full-length prototype, whose whereabouts are no longer known, is demonstrated by a copy now in a private collection.

Fig. 1 Frans Pourbus the Younger, Margherita Gonzaga (1591 – 1632), c.1605, oil on canvas, 76 × 45 in. (193 × 115 cm.), signed and inscribed on the balustrade ‘FRANVS POVRBVS IVNIOR ANTVERP. FACIEBAT/ MANT. 1605’ © Pitti Palace, Florence

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2. I. Donesmondi, Dell’Istoria ecclesiastica di Mantova, Mantua 1612, vol. II, p. 405. 3. On her entrance into Nancy see L. Daville, Le mariage de Marguerite de Gonzague, in Les Pays Lorrain, II 1905, pp.73-77. On the festivities in Nancy see the essay by F.G. Pariset, Le mariage d’Henri de Lorraine et de Marguerite Gonzaga-Mantoue, in Les fetes de la Renaissance, edited by J. Jacquot, Paris 1956, pp.153-189. in reference to the portrait sent from Mantua p.184 footnote 39. 4. G.B. Marino, Adone, (original edition 1623), edited by E. Russo, Milan 2003, ll. 5-6, note 58. 5. J. Condra, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History, vol. 2, 1501-1800, Westport, Conn., 2008, p.19. 6. E. Bazzani, Continuità e innovazione nei tessuti d’abbigliamento del Seicento, in D. Devoti, M. Cuoghi Costantini, La collezione Gandini.Tessuti dal XVII al XIX secolo, Modena,

The high point of the young princess’s life was her wedding celebrated in Mantua in the palace chapel of Saint Barbara, with the groom in absentia, on 24 April 1606.2 The radiant young bride was accompanied to the altar by her father Vincenzo, to great acclaim, festivities and jubilation. It is documented that Pourbus was commissioned to paint a portrait of Margherita that was sent in May to Nancy prior to the bride’s arrival a month later on 15 June 1606. It is also recorded that the Lorraine court painter Jacques Bellange made a frame for this painting which he painted gold. 3

detail from fig. 1

detail from cat. no. 9

The Weiss portrait of Margherita is rendered with meticulous attention to detail and a conscious desire to enhance her beauty, minimising the slight defects of her face that appear in the full-length portrait made six months earlier. The prominent nose with its hump is attenuated, the mouth – which still shows the groove connecting it with the nose – is less pronounced, her colouring is brighter, and her beautiful coppery hair has highlights not seen before. Her round, prominent eyes are softened and lightened with an intense blue colour, following the same procedure that Pourbus would use the following year when he painted the official portrait of Ferdinando Gonzaga as a cardinal, in a process of general embellishment that yet respected the canons of ‘likeness, attractiveness and diligence’. There are significant clues to be found in this newly discovered portrait of Margherita that refer directly to her marriage and which enable us to associate the painting with some certainty to her wedding in April 1606. The princess has been transformed into a woman who embodies a new role, more absorbed and self-aware, with that chaste beauty that strikes one mortally with love and tempers her regality and composure with a happy, smiling air. These are the words of the poet Giovan Battista Marino who immortalized her in a memorable sonnet in Adone, published in 1624. The portrait presents a compendium of symbols of love and marriage: the heavy green curtain behind her is tied as if in a love-knot, and in the Renaissance green was associated with the month of May - of young love and chastity5; the fingers of her right hand are entwined in the chain looped twice around her neck, (Detail far left) a reference to a gesture recalling a marriage bond; and the ring finger of her left hand clearly displays the rectangular engagement ring already discussed (Detail left). The magnificent fabric of her dress, called ‘a mazze’ because of the motifs arranged in horizontal bands alternating direction along the vertical,4 gives the entire costume a zig-zag movement, complimenting its vividness. (see opposite top left) All this lends a spectacular chromatic effect to the whole, and a similar example of early seventeenth-century sculpted velvet material can be seen in the Stibbert Museum in Florence.6

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Her wide double ruff is held up by a supportasse of silver wire thread worked to form beautiful orange blossoms from which hang blue glass beads (Detail top right). But it is in her hair, featuring a braid and topknot held together by a spiral spring, like the one worn by Eleonora in the Pitti portrait, that the symbolism is most poignant. 1993, p.61 7. D. Scarisbrick, Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery, London, Tate Publishing, 1995; the reproduction of a design for a plume for the hair taken from the book of designs by Arnold Lulls is on p.73.

An innovation are the plumes chosen for there strikingly showy effect, and now very fashionable after Arnold Lulls (1585 – 1621) published his book of designs expressly devoted to jewellery for the hair.7 Precise references to hair jewellery appear in the Gonzaga inventories of 1626 -1627, for example bunches of heron feathers. Besides what we see here, similar evidence can also be seen in the portrait of Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Savoy (Rome, Casa di San Carlo al Corso), which shows splendid examples on top of her hat. A large rose and rosette made of red ribbon, with a smaller rose above her ear, accents the whole (Detail top middle). Worn at the very centre of her elaborate headdress is a magnificent ‘jewel in the shape of a rosette, with pearls, rubies, and diamonds, fastened with braid that fastens said veil on top of the knot of hair’ - one very similar is described thus in the 1626/27 inventory of the Gonzaga collection. Above this is the ribbon rose that flutters not only above the head of Margherita of Lorraine, but also above the triumphal hairdo of Margherita di Savoia, the bride of Francesco Gonzaga in Mantua in 1608, described by Federico Zuccari in his Passaggio per Italia con la dimora di Parma (1608). Above the ribbons and below the topknot is the only living, natural element ratifying the marriage: a sprig of orange blossom, which blooms between late April and early May. The flower, once it is broken off the tree, wilts quickly and takes on an ivory/yellowish tinge, just as in this portrait (Detail top right). But the most extravagant note is a highly unusual object which functions as the keystone for the entire constellation of her outfit (Detail right). This is the showy ‘anemone plume’ terminating in a sort of heart-shaped fastening applied to the left side of Margherita’s hairdo. The appearance of this unusual object – closer to a feathered fan than to an ornament for the hair – functions as a stage on which to set an entire heraldic presentation. In the middle of the feather, can be glimpsed a slender eagle with outspread wings surrounded by black thistle leaves. Both of these are clues to the dynastic heritage of the sitter and the happy emotional circumstance around which the sumptuous portrait revolves. The eagle with outspread wings is the emblem of the Hapsburg-Gonzaga house, as seen on a contemporary armorial as seen left. The surrounding thistle leaves are part of the arms of the city of Nancy. We have no other information about the provenance of the portrait, whose subsequent history until its very recent discovery remains a tantalising mystery

We are immensely grateful to Professor Rafaella Morselli for her assistance in the identification and cataloguing of this painting.

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Pa r i s : 1609 ~ 1622


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1609 ~ 1622 T H E ROYA L C O U RT

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n 1600 Henry VI married, as his second wife, Marie de Medici the sister-in-law of Vincenzo Gonzaga. His new consort – for Marie was not actually crowned Queen until 1610 – arrived in a city that was culturally by now somewhat backward compared to many others in Europe, and she was married to a king more interested in mistresses and eating chicken than patronage of the arts. Over the next few years she must have cast envious eyes on the magnificent grandeur and splendour of the Mantuan court in which her sister Eleonora was so fortunate to live. She clearly recognized the important role that Pourbus played in promoting Mantua to the outside world, and the widespread acclaim that the artist received for the brilliance of his court portraiture. She had also had first hand experience of his work having sat to the artist during a visit that Pourbus made to Paris in 1606, a full-length portrait (Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao), that was likely then completed in Mantua in 1607 before being sent back to France. So with no comparable artist to turn to in France – or indeed elsewhere – or with such an international reputation, Marie de’ Medici decided up that Pourbus should become her painter. She began a campaign of entreaties begging Vincenzo to give up Pourbus and to allow him to come work for her. Eventually in 1608, after a very long trip that had taken him first to Nancy for the funeral of Charles III of Lorraine and subsequently for the crowning of his daughter Margherita as duchess, then on to Flanders and Brussels, before finally arriving incognito in Paris late in the fall, the duke gave in for political reasons, and an agreement was signed. At the end of 1608 Pourbus arrived to start a new life in Paris. It would appear that the artist would have preferred to have returned to Antwerp with Rubens, but Rubens was busy in Rome and left in October of that year, never to return. It is worth noting that, as was commonly the practice for artists at court, once in Paris Pourbus became a member of the royal household, with the title of ‘painter and valet de chambre to the king’. As such, he was required to do far more menial and subservient duties than he had whilst working in his own studio.

1. See Ducos, op. cit., p.23, footnote 30, ref. p.349, letter from 1606, Cosimo Baroncelli to Belisario Vinta.

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‘When the king is dressing, the valets’ duty is to offer him the armchair, to hold his dressing gown and to hand him the mirror. They must then make the bed and one of them must stand beside the alcove throughout the day.’1 Within a year of his arrival, the court was shaken by Henry IV’s assassination on the 10th May 1610, only a day after his patroness Marie de’ Medici had been crowned Queen. Since their eldest son Louis, who now inherited the throne as the new king, was only


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nine years old, Marie became the ‘de facto’ ruler of France as Regentess. Clearly these events gave the queen, now the most powerful woman in Europe, the excuse and impetusto entrust to Pourbus the commissioning of the most monumental portrait that he ever painted (fig.1). In this awe-inspiring work, Pourbus brings together everything that he has learnt in creating an icon of princely and regal authority. The queen is presented in a palatial setting, with rich marble walls, floors and pilasters, dressed in sumptuous coronation robes wearing a jewel encrusted crown and standing under a crimson canopy. It is the ultimate icon of power. In his subsequent portrayals of the royal family, which included many Fig. 1 Frans Pourbus the Younger, Marie de Medici (1573 – 1642), posthumous portraits of the late c.1610, oil on canvas, 118 × 73 in. (300 × 185.5 cm.), © Louvre, Paris Henri IV – portrayals which to this day dictate our image of the monarch – Pourbus established a pattern of iconography which only needed subtle variations to enable him to produce a fresh portrait. We also can see an increasing lightening of his palette, with even brighter and more vibrant colouring than we find in his Mantuan period. We know from his correspondence that Pourbus had dreamt of returning to Mantua to spend the last years of his life. However following the successive deaths in 1612 of first Vincenzo and then his eldest son and heir Francesco, the great Mantuan court fell rapidly into decline and debt under the melancholy rule of Ferdinando. So Pourbus remained in France where he had become a naturalized citizen in 1617, retaining his position as court painter to Louis XIII until he died in 1622 aged fifty-three

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Henri IV of France (1553 – 1610) Oil on panel: 15 × 9 ¾ in. (37.9 × 24.9 cm.) Painted circa 1610 P ROVENANCE Formerly in the collection of the Ducs de Berry; Collection Vicomtesse Vigier, Madeleine Double de Saint-Lambert (1869 – 1970); Her estate sale, Paris, Rheims, Bondu & Laurin, Palais Galliera, 2 – 3 June 1970; Henry Davezac; His sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 15 March 1974; Private collection, France; with The Weiss Gallery, London, 2006; Private collection, London. L IT ERAT URE B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus the Younger, Dijon, 2011, p.223, fig.97. The Weiss Gallery, A Fashionable Likeness, Early Portraiture 1550 – 1710, 2006, no.11.

T 1. Inv. No 1708. The last two digits of the date are now damaged, but that it was 1610 is corroborated by the existence of an eighteenth century engraving. 2. Our version is demonstrably the finest of other known versions, and is very close is quality to that in the Louvre. Two other versions are at Versailles (formerly in the collection of Louis XIII’s younger brother, the Duke of Orléans) and at Chantilly. There were also versions recorded with S. Hartveld in Antwerp in 1927 and with Wildenstein, New York. 3. Inventory nos. 3259 and 3253 respectively. 4. See Elizabeth McGrath, The Court Portraits of Frans Pourbus the Younger, MA dissertation, Courtauld Institute of Art, 1986, pp.50-2.

his autograph replica derives from an almost identical signed portrait now in the Louvre, which is dated 1610.1 With this portrayal, Pourbus created an iconic image of the king, subsequently engraved and copied well into the 19th century.2 The portrait in the Louvre was once part of Louis XIV’s collection, having originally come from the so-called Grande Mademoiselle, Anne d’Orleans (1627 – 1693), and there clearly would have been a demand for Pourbus to paint several replicas for the immediate family. The present portrait is known to have descended through the Ducs de Berry, a title frequently created for junior members of the French royal family. Although there was a gap in the creations of the Ducs de Berry between the eighth creation (1576) and the ninth (1686), which meant there was no Duc de Berry holding title around 1610, it is plausible to assume that the present portrait may have made its way directly by descent in the house of Bourbon to the 9th Duc de Berry, Charles, Duc de Berry (1686 – 1714), third son of Louis, le Grand Dauphin, and grandson of Louis XIV of France. Given the date of the Louvre portrait to 1610, the year of the king’s untimely death, and the fact that the sitter is dressed all in black, it is likely that this is a posthumous portrait. Painted not long after his arrival in Paris, Pourbus’s portrait of Henri IV combines the grandeur of stately portraiture, with the intimacy of a cabinet painting. He clearly drew his inspiration from, and adapted a formula introduced by, François Clouet (c.1510 – 1572), whose studio a few decades earlier had experimented with full-length royal portraits on a small scale – notably the depictions of Henri II and Charles IX (both in the Louvre).3 However, in his depiction of Henri IV, Pourbus has placed the king in a wider space, creating a more complex and sumptuous surround for the monarch. He plotted this composition with extreme care – particularly in terms of the relationship between the figure, the table and the curtain, which is structured by a series of diagonals. The table is set at an angle to form a tight orthogonal line receding into the picture space, suggesting a convincing sense of space, which extends yet further, thanks to the arch visible in the right background, beyond the pilaster. The king is decorously framed by a lavish interior with a fine tiled floor, a veined marble pilaster, and a heavy gold embroidered velvet curtain. Pourbus would go on to use this iconographic formula specifically for the representation of the French royal family,4 see for example cat. no. 11, the magnificent life-size portrait of Louis XIII, which was painted a year later (Cleveland Museum of Art). Born in 1553, Henri of Navarre was raised as a Protestant. In 1570 as the result of the temporary reconciliation between the Huguenots and the Catholic crown, Henri was betrothed to Marguerite de Valois, a sister of King Charles IX. However, not long after their marriage, the massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day took place. Henri only managed to save his life by abjuring Protestantism, yet still remained a virtual prisoner at court until 1576, when he escaped to Navarre and returned to the Protestant faith. Henri became the legal heir to the French throne upon the death Hercule-François, duc d’Alençon. The Catholic league refused to recognise a Protestant as heir, but, after the death of Henri III, they were defeated and Henri IV became the first Bourbon king of France. In 1593, as a conciliatory gesture Henri again abjured Protestantism.This act won him widespread support and the nickname of ‘le bon roi Henri’. During his reign, Henri dedicated his efforts to the reconstruction of a kingdom that has been devastated by constant wars. This he did through the restoration of some financial stability and the growth of agriculture and commerce. With the Edict of Nantes in 1598, he established a measure of tolerance and freedom for the Huguenots. However, his rule was bought to an abrupt end when, in 1610, he was stabbed to death by the fanatic, François Ravaillac

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11

Louis XIII of France (1601 – 1643) Oil on unlined canvas: 62 ½ × 37 in. (158 × 94 cm.) Signed with monogram lower right: ‘F.P.FACIEBAT’ Inscribed centre right: ‘ANº SAL. 1611. AETA SVAE. Aº.10’ Inscribed with inventory number lower left: ‘783’ P ROVENANCE Brought back from Rome by W.J. Brigstocke of Carmarthen;1 thence to (?) Josiah Wedgwood III (1795 – 1880) of Leith Hill Place, Surrey; thence by descent to his daughter Margaret Wedgwood (1843 – 1937), wife of Rev. Arthur Charles Vaughan-Williams (1834 – 1875); thence by descent to the Vaughan-Williams family of Tanhurst House, Leith Hill, Surrey; Sotheby’s, Paris, 27 June 2002, lot 1 (as ‘atelier de Frans Pourbus’) The Weiss Gallery, sold 2003 to The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA. L IT ERAT URE The Weiss Gallery, The Courtly Image, Early Portraiture 1550 – 1680, 2002, no.13. B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus the Younger, Dijon, 2011, no.P.A.50, pp.234 – 236, & illus. cover detail.

T 1. This information is given on a hand written label found on the reverse of the painting. 2. See P. Rosenberg, Pittura francese nelle collezioni pubbliche fiorentine, Pitti Palace, Florence, 1977, p.147, no.93. This version (Pitti Palace Inv. 1890 n. 2405) is slightly larger measuring 65 x 39 in. 3. Op. cit., p. 236. 4. As elaborated by Ducos, ibid. 5. Already married by proxy, the actual exchange took place, amid great pomp, on Franco-Spanish border 9th November 1615. 6. Marie de Medici to Monglat, (Battifol, ‘Marie de Medicis et les Arts’ Gazette de Beaux-Arts, 1906, vol. XXXV, pp.227-28) 7. Journal de Jean Herouard (ed. Soulie & Barthelemy, Paris, 1868, vol. II, pp. 53-4) where he states that: ‘a trois heures, Frederic Pourbus flamand peintre excellent le tire de sa hauteur pendant qu’il se joue a des petites besognes.’ 8. For a further discussion of which, see the preface to this section.

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his extraordinary life-size state portrait is the only known signed full-length of the young child-king Louis XIII by Pourbus. His pose carefully mimics that seen in the smaller portrait by the artist of his father, Henri IV, (cat. no. 10), and the result is an even more sumptuous and grandiose icon of royalty. A powerful dynastic allusion is at play here: the pose, the location with its palatial decor (tiled floor, vast green drapery) and the accessories (the sword in particular) all clearly reference the setting of the portrait of Henri IV, a composition whose importance for royal iconography at the start of the 17th century cannot be overstated. Pourbus painted another variant of this portrait at a slightly later date, which may be found in the Palatine gallery of the Pitti Palace in Florence.2 Ducos incorrectly states that the present portrait is a signed version of the composition in the Pitti Palace,3 however the portrait in Florence was actually painted later, depicting Louis a year or so older and with a number of differences in design, such as the background curtains, the marble pilaster, the positioning of the young king’s hand on his sword and the pattern of his costume. Significantly, in both portraits, the young king is dressed in sumptuous vermillion court dress, with golden embroidery. Pierre Boitel’s Histoire des guerres et choses mémorables arrivées sous le règne très-glorieux de Louis le Juste describes it specifically as mourning dress: ‘At ten o’clock the King left the Louvre, wearing mourning dress of a violet scarlet, and a taffeta hat of the same colour, mounted on a small white palfrey, similarly clad in scarlet, and preceded by his Swiss guards’. (Boitel, 1624)4 In 1611, the date of the Cleveland portrait, Louis’ mother the Regentess Marie de’ Medici commissioned from Pourbus two matching pairs of full-length portraits of Louis and his sister Elisabeth. These were sent to Madrid as part of the marriage negotiations that would link the two ruling families of France and Spain. The proposed treaty involved an exchange of Queens, with Louis XIII marrying the Spanish Infanta Anne of Austria and his sister, Elisabeth of France marrying the Infante, the future Philip IV.5 Fortuitously a substantial amount of contemporary documentation has survived relating to this commission and to its dispatch to Spain along with the pendant portrait of his sister Elisabeth. Firstly, in a letter written in early 1611 from Marie de Medici to the governess of the royal children, Madame Monglat is informed that Pourbus would be coming to Saint-Germain in order to paint them.6 Secondly, on Friday 11 February, Jean Herouard, the personal physician to Louis XIII, annotates in his diary that Pourbus has been to draw the king in full-length.7 Finally, the dispatch and arrival of the finished portraits are discussed in some detail in an exchange of Tuscan ambassadorial letters dating from the end of May to the end of June 1611 between Matteo Botti, Tuscan ambassador in the French court in 1610 and his colleague Count Orso d’Elci, Tuscan ambassador to Spain at that time.8 In this correspondence, specific mention is made of a portrait of Louis in mourning dress


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Elisabeth of France (1602 – 1644), later Isabelle, Queen of Spain Oil on a de-lined canvas: 21 ¼ × 18 ¼ in. (54 × 46.5 cm.) Painted circa 1610 – 1612 P ROVENANCE Acquired in the South of France during the late 1970s; Private collection, France; Sotheby’s, Paris, 26 June 2014, lot 12.

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ewly discovered and previously unpublished, this is possibly the very first in the series of portraits by Pourbus of the eldest daughter of Henry IV and Marie de’ Medici, that were painted in the years from 1610 to 1615, before her departure to Spain as Queen. She is depicted here as a very young girl about eight to ten years old. With the assassination of her father outside the Palais du Louvre in 1610, her brother Louis XIII succeeded under the regency of their mother. Because of their closeness in age, the two siblings were very devoted and this is reflected in their iconography – with their portraits often painted simultaneously. As with the rest of her immediate family, Pourbus portrayed Elisabeth at various times during his employ at the French royal court, but the present design appears unique, with no other known versions or copies. Bust-length in scale, it is comparable in size and date to the other bust portraits painted of her siblings, for example, the portraits of Louis XIII dated 1610 (Jakober Foundation, Majorca), Gaston d’Orléan c.1612 (Pitti Palace, Florence), and Henriette-Marie de France c.1612 (Pitti Palace, Florence).

1. This followed a tradition of cementing military and political alliances between the Catholic powers of France and Spain with royal marriages, a tradition that went back to 1559 with the marriage of King Philip II of Spain to the French princess Elisabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II of France.

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Our portrait presents the child princess at a pivotal moment in her life – presumably as negotiations were beginning for a double marriage between the royal families of France and Spain. Elisabeth was to marry her cousin the Prince of Asturias (the future Philip IV of Spain) and her brother Louis XIII the Spanish Infanta Anne.1 Without any knowledge of the painting’s early provenance or history, it is impossible to say for whom or what purpose the portrait was painted. Whilst it is plausible that our portrait was intended for presentation to the court of Spain, its intimate scale suggests that is more likely to have been commissioned for familial use, and perhaps was sent by Marie de’ Medici to her family in Florence. Stylistically, the work fits well with how Pourbus depicted the siblings before the 1611 series of full-length portraits of Elisabeth of France (Pitti Palace, Florence) and her brother Louis XIII (Cleveland Museum, cat. no. 11). It was not until 25 November 1615 the thirteen-year-old Elisabeth and her brother Louis were finally to meet their respective spouses - on the Pheasant Island in the river Bidassoa that divides France and Spain between the French city of Hendaye and the Spanish city of Fuenterrabia. It was here that the exchange of the two princesses took place and the moment was recorded in a painting by Rubens, Exchange of the Princesses at the Spanish Border, as part of his Marie de’ Medici cycle. In Spain, Elisabeth’s name took on the Spanish form of Isabel. She became the new Princess of Asturias and on the death of her husbands’ stepfather in 1621, she became Queen Consort of Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Naples, Duchess consort of Burgundy, Brabant, Luxembourg and Limburg, Countess consort of Flanders and Countess Palatine of Burgundy. In an age when the fate of a kingdom depended on the formation of alliances – the ‘princely’ image was endlessly refined, reworked and reconsidered. In the complex relationships between reigning dynasties, politics were an art and art was political. The sophisticated nature of Pourbus’s paintings cannot be properly understood without recognising the manner in which they were used by those in power. Even so, this portrait of Elisabeth is more than just a form of currency with which to lay the foundations for the marriage to the future king of Spain or as a reminder of her ties to the Medici – it is on a small enough scale that it achieves an intimacy

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Louis XIII of France (1601 – 1643) Oil on de-lined canvas: 27 × 21 ½ in. (68.5 × 54.5 cm.) Inscribed on the reverse: ‘LUDOVICO XIII RE DI FRANCIA FIGLIO DI ENRICO IIII E MARIA DE MEDICI’

Painted circa 1620 - 1621 P ROVENANCE Possibly given to Pedro Nuñez Girón y Velasco Guzmán y Tovar, Duke of Osuna (1574 – 1624) whilst he was in Italy,1 then sent to Spain, where it descended in the collection of the Dukes of Infantado for many generations; Probably Joaquín Arteaga y Echague (1870 – 1947), 17th Duke of Infantado; and by descent to his daughter Doña Teresa de Arteaga, Countess of the Andes; thence by descent to her son Don Iñigo Moreno y Arteaga, Marqués of Laula; Private collection, Spain. L IT ERAT URE Blaise Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622. Dijon 2011, pp.135 & 277, no.P.A.103, also reproduced p.134, with incorrect provenance. The Weiss Gallery, The Captured Eye, 2013, no.17.

1. This is suggested by the inscription on the reverse of the canvas, which is in Italian. Osuna served Philip III in Italy as Capitán General and Viceroy to the Kings of Sicily from 1610 to 1616 and to Naples from 1616 to 1620. 2. See Blaise Ducos, (op. cit.), no.37, c.1606/07 aged 5 - bustlength in red (b&w illustration); nos. 46 & 58, c.1610 aged 9 – bust-length in blue; and no.50, 1611 aged 10 – full-length in red. 3. See Blaise Ducos, (ibid.), no.66, 1614 aged 13 – bust-length in a simple white silk costume; no. 82, 1616 aged 15 – three-quarterlength in a white slashed costume with gold embroidery; no. 84, c.1616 – bust-length aged 15 in a white slashed costume with gold embroidery; no. 94, c.1616 – bustlength, white slashed, as above, aged 15; no. 86, c.1617, bustlength, white slashed, as above, with a love lock, aged 16.

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his is the last known portrait by Pourbus of Louis XIII, and indeed likely one of the very last portraits that the artist painted before his death in 1622. It depicts the king aged about 19 - 20 years old, no longer a child, but a young man at a pivotal moment in his life – having assumed full regal power, and emerging from the control of his mother, Marie de’ Medici. Pourbus had painted Louis regularly over approximately a decade whilst at the French royal court, however the present design is unique, with no other known versions. Whilst in his portrayals of the king as a child he depicted the younger Louis in blue or red silk costumes,2 from adolescence, as here, he wears white silk with gold embroidery, redolent of his celestial kingly status.3 In our portrait, the costume itself is of an entirely new fashion – the doublet is of watered white silk, with multiple ripples and reflections, rather than the ‘slashes’ of his previous doublets. As well as golden embroidery there are additional and manifold gold buttons. Pourbus has relished every detail, from the clustered layers of lace in his newly rounded ruff, to the ironed fold in his blue sash from which is suspended the badge of the order of Saint Esprit. The young king retains the lovelock that first appeared in a portrait from 1617, but now his nascent moustache is apparent. Our painting is believed to have been in the collection of the Dukes of Infantado, Spain, for many generations, one of the six most important Dukedoms in Spain. The family brought together two of the greatest Spanish historic collections, those of the Dukes of Lerma and the Dukes of Infantado, which were united following the marriage in 1686 of Doña Luisa Mendoza and the 1st Duke of Lerma. The portrait may then have entered the Osuna collection during the time of Pedro Nuñez Girón y Velasco Guzmán y Tovar, Duke of Osuna (1574 – 1624), who served Philip III as Capitán General and Viceroy to the kings of Sicily (1610 – 1616) and Naples (1616 – 1620). These last dates coincide with that of our portrait, which significantly is inscribed to the reverse in Italian. Pedro Nuñez Girón de Velasco, known as the Gran Duque de Osuna, was one of the most outstanding personalities in Italy at this time. His relationship with the Duke of Lerma, favourite of Philip III, was very close and extended even to the point of marrying his son and heir, Juan Tellez Girón, to the grand-daughter of the Duke of Lerma and daughter of the Marquis of Uceda. As with the earlier portrait of his younger sister Elisabeth (cat. no. 12), painted some ten years earlier, Pourbus sets the sitter against a rich crimson satin background


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The Weiss Gallery 59 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6LX Tel 020 7409 0035 Fax 020 7491 9604

www.weissgallery.com

From Merchants to Monarchs: Frans Pourbus the Younger  

This catalogue celebrates the gallery's dedication to the most compelling and talented court portraitist of the early 1600s, Frans Pourbus t...

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