Oil on canvas - The rich Duchess of Montpensier, cousin of Louis XIV, is portrayed sitting in front of a deep landscape. Leaning on a column base, she seems relaxed and we can see in her eyes a certain melancholy. Nevertheless, the pearls mounted in a crew neck, the two enormous pearl-beads in ears, and the rich drapery embroidered with golden threads recall the status and fortune of the noble lady.
The work is presented in its original frame in carved and gilded wood.
Our painting is a French school painting of the XVIIth century of Pierre Mignard's workshop. It can be compared to the portrait of the Great Mademoiselle painted by the same workshop a few years later and preserved in the collections of the Palace of Versailles.
Dimensions: 126 x 108 cm with frame
Provenance: New York private collection.
Anne Marie Louise of Orléans, known as the Grande Mademoiselle (Paris 29.05.1627 - id 05.04.1693).
Daughter of Gaston d'Orléans and Marie de Bourbon, she is the granddaughter of King Henry IV and the cousin of Louis XIV. Cumulating the titles of nobility (Duchess of Montpensier, Dauphine of Auvergne, Countess of Eu and Mortain, Princess of Joinville and Dombes), and the fortune of her parents, Anne Marie Louise of Orléans is probably the Richest Princess in Europe.
She was awarded the title of "Grande Mademoiselle" because of the title of "Grand Monsieur", of her father Gaston de France (1608-1660) as brother of King Louis XIII.
Marie Louise of Orléans takes part in La Fronde. And in 1652, on the orders of her father, she took the lead in opposition to the royal troops in the battle of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine to save her cousin the Prince of Conde. The army of the king is victorious and the duchess is exiled during three years in Burgundy. She takes advantage of this distance from the Parisian tumults to write her memoirs. Her story is one of the most important testimonies of her time on the life of a woman of her rank in the 17th century.
Throughout her life, the immense fortune possessed by the Duchesse de Montpensier stirred up jealousy. Including that of King Louis XIV, who prevented him from marrying, and compelled her to appoint his own son, the Duke of Maine, as sole heir.
Pierre Mignard (Troyes 1610 - Paris 1695) is the brother of Nicolas (also known as Nicolas Mignard d'Avignon), also a painter. Like Valentin de Boulogne, Michel Dorigny, Charles Le Brun or Eustache Le Sueur, he is the pupil of Simon Vouet. Nicknamed "the Roman" because he spent a long time in Rome, Pierre Mignard is considered one of the best colourists of his time.
Louis XIV asks him to return from Italy for entrusts him the decoration of the dome of the Val-de-Grace and of the little gallery at Versailles. After the death of Charles Le Brun, he was appointed first painter of the King and director of the Academy of painting. Pierre Mignard excels in the painting of portraiture and is distinguished by the naturalness and the truth of the expression of his figures.