Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Nobleman, wearing armour breastplate, scarlet jacket embroidered with gold and red cloak, lace jabot, his hair powdered 

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

Portrait miniature of a Nobleman, wearing armour breastplate, scarlet jacket embroidered with gold and red cloak, lace jabot, his hair powdered, Anne Marie Belle (née Cheron)
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Watercolour on ivory
17th Century
Oval, 70mm (2 3/4in) high
 
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This portrait of a Nobleman by Anne Marie Belle is most likely to represent a member of the exiled Jacobite court in Saint-Germain. The artist has followed a pattern and pose for the miniature in line with her husband’s large oil portraits of James Francis Stuart (1688-1766), known as ‘The Old Pretender’. The close approximation to the armour of this sitter with that of James’ suggests that the sitter may have been a high ranking officer and dates the portrait to circa 1712-14.

Alexis-Simon Belle (1674-1734), husband of Anne Marie, followed Francois de Troy as official court painter. Together, Anne Marie and her husband painted Jacobite courtiers, as well as English Jacobites not attached to the court. They were an active and fundamental part of the machinery of image distribution so crucial to the Jacobite cause, but they also provided paintings and miniatures which could be sent to relatives in England and Ireland.
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