Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender c.1704

Anne Marie Belle (née Cheron) (c.1663-1718)

Portrait miniature of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, Anne Marie Belle (née Cheron)
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Watercolour on vellum
Oval, 68mm. (2 5/8 in.) high
 
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Portrait miniature of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender (1688-1766), wearing armour, white lace stock and blue sash of the Garter and red cloak

This portrait of James, Prince of Wales relates to a portrait, dated 1702, by Alexis Simeon Belle (1674-1734), husband of the miniaturist Anne Marie Belle (nee Chéron). Anne Marie Belle was one of three miniaturists known to have worked for the exiled court at Saint-Germain from 1702. Although incorrectly engraved on the frame as by Arlaud, Edward Corp correctly asserts that Chéron always portrays James facing to the left, whereas Arlaud sat the Prince facing to the right.
The miniature follows a familiar pattern in Stuart portraiture, where the Prince is shown in a full-bottomed wig signaling his maturity and wearing the sash of the garter to reinforce the message of legitimate sovereignty.
Portrait miniatures of the prince played a vital role in that they could easily be carried by Scottish emissaries to supporters in England. Belle’s role was to translate her husband’s oil portraits into miniature versions in order to disseminate the prince’s image more widely.
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