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You are watching: Henry iv receiving the portrait of marie de medici




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Peter Paul Rubens


Louvre Museum


Rue de RivoliParis, France

More around The Presentation of Marie de' Medici's Portrait to Henry IV

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Oil paint, Canvas
H: 394 x W: 295 cm
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Catalog Number
INV 1772
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Before selfies and also Snapchat, royal portraits traveled miles to reach potential suitors and also this photo depicts Henry IV taking a peek at his future wife, Marie de’ Medici.

This paint portrays their marriage as one that was destined for happiness yet that was much from the fact. Henri IV’s mistresses were not necessarily an enigma in the French court and he had also promised to marry one prior to he married Marie. This made Marie’s life in the French court pretty awkward and dramatic. The image of a blissful marital relationship blessed by the gods remained in truth propaganda commissioned later in background by Marie once she hosted considerably even more power in the French court.

The marriage between Marie and also Henry IV was useful for France in a couple of methods. The 50-year-old heirless king necessary a boy for the throne and Marie was the ripe age of 27 at the moment. Marie’s Catholic ties would appease the Catholic nation of France, which wasn’t completely pleased through their formerly Protestant King. Debt, of course, would be the third factor and also the reason Henry IV was cool with the marital relationship despite having actually promised his lover otherwise. The French owed the Medicis quite a lot for backing their army ventures and Marie came via a hefty dowry. Marie’s marriage wasn’t the happiest, yet it only lasted about ten years. Henry was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic in Paris and since their boy Charles XIII was too young, Marie became Queen Regent.

Marie de’ Medici ran the country prefer a boss for salso years. She was a major patron of the arts; among her most effective endeavors was the Luxembourg Palace and also garden that increased the metropolitan landscape of Paris to the left bank of the Seine. Before she built the Luxembourg Palace, the city had actually not fairly broadened to the left bank that holds Montparnasse and also the Latin quarter this particular day. Although many type of thought the imperial throne suited Marie well, some were not pleased, including her son Charles XIII. Tired of watching his mother preeminence on his befifty percent and also affected by other courtiers, Charles XIII pulled a Tommen Baratheon and also exiled his mother in 1617.

Marie posed a threat also during exile when she supported a team planning to overthrow her kid. Considering her position outside the funding was currently a danger, she was allowed to go back to the funding in 1620 under some problems. Of course automatically upon her return she commissioned the Marie de’ Medici series to glorify and also commemorate her time as Queen Regent of France. This unprecedented series contained twenty 4 life-size portraits dedicated to a female leader.

This brings us ago to the painting in question. This certain painting depicts the presentation of Marie’s portrait to Henry IV with every one of its fallacies and also heavy-handed symbolism. Rubens was not subtle right here. The concept of marriage is reiterated with Hymen, the god of marriage holding the portrait and Jupiter and also Juno watching the presentation from the heavens. Cupid, additionally holding the portrait, alludes to the false idea that Henry IV was in love upon seeing her portrait, while he was most likely still in love through his mistress and anxiety. The personification of France in blue mirrors the French approval of the marital relationship. And finally, the leastern useful cherubs to ever be painted are playing with Henry’s fight gear to reexisting Henry’s pivot amethod from fight to commit to marital relationship. This painting, along with the twenty-three others, was developed as propaganda to remind Charles XIII and the French court of Marie’s power.

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She plainly was not all set to give up her position, which is why she was exiled aget in 1631, this time permanently.