Dutch collector - portraits of three ladies
Expert opinion would be welcomed by the owner of this group of miniature portraits, who has submitted them for display in the Guest Gallery. He hopes that a visitor to the site may possibly recognise the artists or the sitters (they can be enlarged by clicking on the images). If so, he would be grateful if you would please leave any comment on the form provided, which can be accessed via the comments link below.
The oval ones are both oil on copper 90 mm high and are of ladies wearing 17C clothing. They appear to be Dutch or English, both painted around 1650 and are very good examples from that period.
In the opinion of Don the Collector, and given the crown over one portrait, as well as the similarity to figs 341 and 342 in Graham Reynolds' book about the 16C and 17C miniatures in the British Royal Collection and the engravings shown below, it seems quite likely the sitters are each one of; Mary, Princess of Orange (1631-1660), Louise Henrietta, Princess of Orange (1627-1667), or Albertina Agnes, Princess of Orange (1634-1696).
The three prinesses were not too different in age around 1650. It is interesting to note that the visible portion of the dress on the left hand portrait, below the lace collar, appears to have a pattern similar to the Union Jack.
Another portrait of Mary Stuart (1631-1660), Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and the daughter of Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of Bourbon, painted by Jean Petitot, is fig11 in Schaffers-Bodenhausen's book on the Orange-Nassau Collection.
This latter portrait is believed to be a possible source for the two portraits in the British Royal Collection and in turn is thought to be based upon a large oil portrait of Mary Stuart by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656).
Honthorst spent some time at the court of Charles I. He is noted for his large oils and his portrait of Mary Stuart, which is in the NPG, can be seen at http://images.npg.org.uk/OCimg/weblg/1/7/mw09417.jpg Apparently, a very similar portrait signed by Honthorst and dated 1657 was sold at Christie's 4 October 1946, but the date of 1657 would have been after he died, so the signature must have been a later addition.
Shown here are three engravings based on separate portraits of three different Princesses of Orange all painted by Honthorst. They were all engraved around 1650. Firstly, of Mary Stuart engraved by G Visscher.
Secondly, of Louise Henrietta engraved by J Brouwer.
Thirdly, of Albertina Agnes, also engraved by J Brouwer.
There are similar engravings of two other Princesses of Orange; Henrietta Catherine (1637-1708) and Mary (1642-1688) but they seem a little young to be the sitters in these two miniatures dating to around 1650.
As can be seen the portraits are very similar and so it is difficult to decide which Princess of Orange is most like the two miniatures shown here.
Based upon the curl on their shoulders, perhaps one is Louise Henrietta and the other is Albertina Agnes.
Thus 17C miniature painters copying from one of these engravings, are likely to be the artists for the two miniatures, and the identification of the sitter as a Princess of Orange, fits both the age of the portraits as around 1650 and a Dutch origin. However, expert confirmation, correction, or other comment would be welcomed by the owner.
Mary Stuart married William of Orange and was the mother of King William III of England.
The circular miniature is on ivory 90 mm high and appears to be French, with the lady wearing clothing from around 1815. The quality of this miniature is exceptional, as can be seen by clicking on the image.
Posted by Don Shelton at 12:24 PM