KINGS & QUEENS
Special edition of the book with an original work in a limited edition of fifty-five.
Theme KINGS & QUEENS (period 15th to 19th century)
These are 55 unique works about persons of noble origin who were born and raised in isolation. Many are connected by marriage to the De’ Medici patrician family, which spread throughout Europe. A powerful and influential family with considerable prestige, one of the leading banking families in European history. Their influences in the field of politics, trade, culture, architecture, banking and religion are, in both negative and positive ways, intertwined like some gossamer web with our life now.
The position of kings and queens is sensitive: when we meet them, many of us act like servants and bow, but just talking about it generates resistance.
I show the Kings & Queens that I portrait alongside their own self-image.
The ground surface for the works is taken from an unusual two-part French publication “La Reliure ancienne et moderne” from 1878. They are photogravures from volumes from the period from 1400 to 1800. The photogravure I have used for a work is directly related to the person in the portrait.
Duke of Burgundy. In his role as ruler of the Low Countries, he initiated many reforms, such as central government for all provinces of the Low Countries, a centralised judicial system and central collection of taxes. As a way to facilitate centralised rule, Philips was the first to assemble the States General, the parliament of The Netherlands. The first major meeting took place in Bruges in 1464. This historic event is now considered the first meeting of the States General. Philips is also considered as the founder of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Giuliano de’ Medici 1453-1478
Giuliano and his brother, Lorenzo the Magnificent, were co-rulers of the republic of Florence. Patron of the Arts.
Henri VII 1457-1509
King of England. He was the founder of the Tudor dynasty, and is generally acknowledged as a successful ruler. His political strategy was to keep the peace, while also achieving economic prosperity.
Louis XII 1462-1515
King of France. His third marriage was to Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII of England. This was a marriage that was intended to seal the bond between the two kingdoms.
Marguerite de Valois 1492-1549
In 1509 she married Charles IV of Alençon, and in 1529 she married King Henry II of Navarre. She played an important political and cultural role at the French court, introducing them to her progressive literary views. At the time, she was considered unusually erudite, and her open, clear spirit made her an important figure in the development of the renaissance in France.
François I 1494-1547
King of France. He was the initiator of the Collège de France. He was the Maecenas of artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci.
Henry II of Navarra 1503-1555
King of Navarre. Viscount of Limoges and Béarn. Count of Périgord, Foix and Armagnac. In 1522, he succeeded his grandfather as Duke of Albret. He was married to Marguerite de Valois (1492-1549).
Alessandro de’ Medici 1510-1537
Despite being an illegitimate child, he became Duke of Florence in 1531. He was murdered by Lorenzino de’ Medici, better known as Lorenzaccio (‘evil Lorenzino’), his distant cousin.
Henri II 1519-1559
King of France. Married to Catharina de’ Medici. His mistress, Diana de Poitiers, was a large influence during his lifetime. He trusted her so much, he even let her make state decisions. She signed official documents with ‘Henri Diane’.
Henri of Lorraine 1563-1624
Henry II, Duke of Lorraine. His marriage to Catharina de Bourbon was meant to strengthen the bonds between the House of Bourbon and the House of Lorraine. Catharina died without children. He had four children with his second wife, Margherita Gonzaga.
Isabelle of Spanje 1566-1633
I used the same flag in this piece as I used in the portrait of William of Orange. She was sovereign of the Southern Netherlands and Archduchess of Austria. The Eternal Edict, signed in 1611, was an act issued by Archduke Albrecht and Isabelle. It is one of the best known and most quoted laws of the ‘Ancien Régime’, and it was the first attempt to create a general civil code in the Southern Netherlands.
Catherine Gonzaga 1568-1629
She was the daughter of an Italo-French dignitary and diplomat in France. She married Henry, Duke of Orléans-Longueville, a French aristocrat and military commander.
Marie de Médici 1575-1642
Queen-consort of France as the second wife of Henry IV, after the annulment of his marriage to Marguerite de Valois (1553-1615). She commissioned the construction of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris that became her residence in 1625.
Ferdinando II de’ Medici 1610-1670
Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was gay, and was loved by his subjects for his kindness. He married and had two sons.
Christina I of Sweden 1626-1689
James II 1633-1701
King of England, Ireland and Scotland. He was the last catholic monarch of England. Louis XIV was not just his cousin, but also a close friend.
Louis XIV 1638-1715
Better known as the Sun King (Le Roi-Soleil). King of France and Navarre. The hunting lodge at Versailles, constructed in 1624 by Louis XIII, was converted into the castle of Versailles by his son, Louis XIV. He was the founder of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. He was an accomplished dancer himself.
Filip of Orléans 1640-1701
Philip I. Despite his homosexuality, he was married twice, and had six children. He was an art-lover and assembled a significant art collection.
Cosimo III de’ Medici 1642-1723
Grand Duke of Tuscany. He is considered an anthropologist avant la lettre.
Gian Gastone de’ Medici 1671-1737
The last Grand Duke of Tuscany of the De’ Medici family. He was the son of Cosimo III de’ Medici. He was an art connoisseur, he loved botany and lived a very solitary life, surrounded by antiquities.
Philipp Ludwig Wenzel 1671-1742
Count von Sinzendorf. A successful diplomat, he was the special envoy to France and imperial ambassador to the Netherlands. His work earned him the membership of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He was made famous by his portrait, painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud, where he wears the order regalia of the Golden Fleece.
Charles III of Spain 1716-1788
Duke of Parma. King of Naples and Sicily. He was an advocate of enlightened absolutism (caring more about the interests of the people than other kings). He was perhaps not a grand king, but he was devoted to his task.
Marie Paulette (Pauline) Bonaparte was the second sister of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time, she was renowned for her beauty. As Paolina Borghese (her second marriage was to Camillo Borghese), she was sculpted by Antonio Canova as a naked Venus. At that time, Napoleon bought the entire Borghese family art collection for the Louvre museum.
William of Orange-Nassau 1840-1879
His nickname was Wiwill. He was the eldest son of king William III and queen Sophie. He had a difficult life, with parents who fought all the time, and his relationship with his father was bad. He was buried in the family tomb in the ‘Nieuwe Kerk’ church in Delft.