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Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
Gerrit van Honthorst
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Gerrit van Honthorst had an international reputation for attracting high-status clients. After working in Rome, he was invited to England in 1628 by Charles I and painted several royal portraits before returning to live mainly in The Hague. In Holland he became a favourite of Charles’ sister Elizabeth Stuart, depicted here. She was married to Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and in 1619 they were also crowned King and Queen of Bohemia. Deposed in the winter of 1620, they went into exile in The Hague, where she became known as the ‘Winter Queen’.

This near life-size portrait represents a new type of formal picture of Elizabeth. Made in 1642, ten years after her husband’s death, it was the first time she was depicted in the open air. She wears black for mourning, a state confirmed by the black ribbon on her right arm. Her jewellery is a combination of enormous pearls and black precious stones.

Key facts
Artist Gerrit van Honthorst
Artist dates 1592 - 1656
Full title Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
Date made 1642
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 205.1 x 130.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Cornelia, Countess of Craven, 1965
Inventory number NG6362
Location in Gallery Room 20
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