Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria, c.1640, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) 

Attributed to Henry Stone (1616-53)

Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria, c.1640, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), Attributed to Henry Stone
Oil on canvas
17th Century
28 x 24 in (71 x 61 cm)
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This profile portrait of Henrietta Maria by Henry Stone relates to an image painted by Van Dyck for a projected bust of the Queen by Bernini.

In 1636 Charles I dispatched a portrait of himself by Van Dyck to the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Rome. The portrait depicting Charles in three positions was painted to assist Bernini in the execution of a marble bust of the King. The bust was commissioned as papal gift from Urban VIII to Henrietta Maria, at a time when hopes were entertained in Rome that England might return to the Roman Catholic church. The bust was executed in 1636 and presented to the King and Queen the following year. It was enthusiastically received by them and the court and universally admired for the accuracy of the likeness and Bernini was rewarded, in 1638, with a diamond ring valued at 800. The bust was destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 1698.

Henrietta Maria had been so pleased with the commission that she decided to order a companion bust of herself. The preparatory portraits were being painted by Van Dyck in August 1638 although it was not until June 1639 that the Queen wrote to Bernini requesting a bust of herself. Three separate portraits of her were painted, two in profile and one frontal rather than the single canvas of Charles. However, they were never apparently sent to Rome since Bernini had flatly refused to do another bust on the basis of painting

even, ifthaire were best picture done by the hand of Raphyel.

Two of the portraits relating to the commission are in the Royal Collection. The other painting on which this profile portrait is based was formerly at Hamilton Palace. It may have been given by Henrietta Maria to the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton when it became clear that the bust would not be executed.

Stone was a portrait painter and copyist, the son of the sculptor Nicholas Stone (1583-1647). He was baptised in London on 18 July 1616. He was a pupil of Thomas de Keyser in Amsterdam 1635-8 and then travelled in France and Italy with his brother John until 1643. His own portraits show similarities with those of William Dobson but he also earned a lucrative income in copying the work of Van Dyck. He died in London on 24 August 1653.

Diary of Nicholas Stone, ed. W.L.Spiers, The Walpole Society, Vol.VII (1919), pp. 170-1.
Op.cit., note 1, Nos.148 & 149, pp.97-8.
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