|Artist||Wenceslaus Hollar after Anthony Van Dyck|
|Published||Joannes Meyssens excud. Antwerpiæ [c. 1650]|
|Dimensions||Image 230 x 180 mm, Sheet 253 x180 mm|
A half length portrait of Mary Villiers, seated and turned to the left but facing forwards. She is wearing a low cut dress embellished with jewels, and a shawl wrapped around her shoulders. Her hair is partly braided and decorated with pearls, and partly hangs in short curls around her face. She is wearing a pearl necklace and earrings, and is holding roses in her right hand and on her lap, and a wild landscape is seen on the background. From Van Dyck's "Iconographie", published by Joannes Meyssens.
Inscription underneath image: "Illustriss.mæ D.ma Domin.tia Elisabetha Villiers Ducessa De Lenox Et Rich-Mond etc. Filia Georgij Villiers Ducis Et Comitis Buckinghamiae"
Mary (nee Villiers) Stewart (1622 - 1685) was the daughter of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, who was a favourite of James I, but who made many enemies as he quickly ascended the social ladder and was seen as bad influence on the king. He was eventually assassinated in 1628 by a man called John Felton. His daughter Mary, was raised at court after the assassination, and in 1635 married Charles Herbert, Lord of Shurland, who died only a year later. Her second marriage in 1637 was to James Stuart, 1st Duke of Richmond and 4th Duke of Lennox.
Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) was one of the most prominent Flemish Baroque painters. Born in Antwerp, he was a pupil of Hendrik van Balen, but was soon noticed by Rubens with whom he would work closely during his early career. Van Dyck became a master of the St Luke Guild in 1618, went on to paint in Italy from 1621-1626, and then worked predominantly in England from 1632 onwards, where he was knighted by Charles I. Van Dyck was very prolific, he produced many portraits for members of the European aristocracy, as well as religious and mythological paintings and works on paper.
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) left his native Prague in 1627. He spent several years travelling and working in Germany before his patron, the Earl of Arundel brought him to London in 1636. During the civil wars, Hollar fought on the Royalist side, after which he spent the years 1644-52 in Antwerp. Hollar's views of London form an important record of the city before the Great Fire of 1666. He was prolific and engraved a wide range of subjects, producing nearly 2,800 prints, numerous watercolours and many drawings.
O'Donoghue 3, New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 140.IV (Van Dyck), Pennington 1457 v/vi
Condition: Trimmed within plate mark and laid to album page. Minor loss to bottom left corner, with part of artist name missing. Address line partly burnished out.