Beautiful portrait of Anne Geneviève de Bourbon-Condé, Duchess of Longueville, (1619-1679) represented in three quarters, in half bust.
The princess is dressed in a black and white mantis, with a veil that covers her hair and informs us that she is in mourning.
Her light complexion and blond curls are particularly highlighted by the dark color of the background and the garment.
Her turquoise blue eyes stand out and gently illuminate the face of the one who was celebrated for her beauty as much as for her wit.
Oil on canvas, good condition.
Original gilded wood frame.
French School, Workshop of Philippe de Champaigne around 1665.
Frame: Height: 57 cm; Width: 50 cm
Canvas: Height: 39 cm Width: 30 cm
Our opinion :
The portrait that we present is typical of the production of Philippe de Champaigne who was one of the greatest French religious painters of the 17th century.
He excelled in particular in the portraits of Jansenists, ecclesiastics, nuns ..., he is one of the few to be able to combine both the rigor necessary for this exercise, and a relative softness in the faces which brings a lot of humanity to his works.
Richelieu, Mazarin and many ecclesiastics of the kingdom will use his services.
The portrait he gives us here perfectly symbolizes his style, with the illuminated face of the Duchess which he represents in the posture of a nun.
In accordance with his Flemish origins and his religion, he gives us in this painting a strong message, namely the comfort of believers in the difficult ordeal of mourning.
Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674):
Coming from a modest family, Philippe de Champaigne is a Jansenist painter, pugnacious and virtuous. Born in Brussels, he moved to Paris in 1621. He preferred the studio of Fouquières, a landscape painter, to that of Pierre-Paul Rubens, and therefore went to his school, then worked with the Mannerist painters before collaborating with Nicolas Poussin for the decoration of the Palais du Luxemboug. Marie de Médicis and Cardinal Richelieu request his work for the cardinal’s palace and the dome of the Sorbonne church. In 1648 he was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. A notable portrait painter, Philippe de Champaigne is also recognized for having delivered an ex-voto, now in the Louvre museum. His work, initially very influenced by Pierre-Paul Rubens, subsequently becomes a little more monotonous, even dismal. Philippe de Champaigne is one of the two official painters of the Kingdom, which allows him to paint the portrait of Cardinal Richelieu more than ten times.
Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon (1619-1679), future Duchess of Longueville, was born on August 28, 1619 in the keep of Vincennes where her father, Henri II de Bourbon-Condé, a "prince of the blood", was imprisoned because of his opposition to the authority of the young king Louis XIII.
Her mother Charlotte de Montmorency herself made the previous king, Henri IV, of whom she was the last love, dreamed of being the involuntary cause of a European war! ...
Anne-Geneviève was drawn to religion at a very young age, but her first ball at the Louvre revealed her power of seduction to her.
Her qualities of wit and finesse filled with elegance, which are matched only by her beauty, are revealed in the salon of the Marquise de Rambouillet.
Married by her father to the Duke of Longueville, 25 years her senior and already endowed with a mistress, the Duchess of Montbazon, she takes a lover, the Count of Coligny, who is killed in a duel for her.
Then, under the reign of young Louis XIV, she threw herself intrepidly into the rebellion of the Fronde, with her brothers, the Grand Condé (so called since his victory at Rocroi, at age 22!) And the Prince of Conti, as well. than her new lover, the Duc de la Rochefoucauld (the future author of the Maxims).
In these crazy outfits, she rubbed shoulders with other titled adventurers such as the Grande Mademoiselle, daughter of Gaston d'Orléans and niece of King Louis XIII, at a time when the nobility still dared to challenge royal power.
She seduces the roué Paul de Gondi, future cardinal de Retz (and author of famous Memoirs) and even the brave Turenne whom she convinces to enter into opposition to the king and to betray his country for the benefit of the Spaniards!
Light and enthusiastic, she lets herself be guided by her passions and her new connection with the Duke of Nemours leads the Duke of La Rochefoucauld to break with her.
But after the failure of the Fronde and the flight of her brother Condé abroad, Anne-Geneviève made a comeback. In 1661, at the start of Louis XIV's personal government, she resumed the interrupted path of religion by dividing her places of residence between Port-Royal and the Carmelites of the Faubourg Saint-Jacques.
His piety grew stronger after the death, in 1672, of his favorite son, from his relationship with the Duke of La Roch