Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Allegorical Portraits of 16C-18C Gentlewomen as the Goddess Minerva

 1555 Jean de Court (French enamel painter) Margaret Queen Of Navarre as Minerva - Limoges

Early artists painted their contemporaries somewhat like allegories, & often painters would put the faces of their patrons or sponsors on the bodies of the saints.  These came to be called donor portraits.  Allegorical portraits remained popular; and as time passed, they expanded to show the sitter as a Greek goddess, or muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting.  These allegories grew to include strong portraits of Minerva wearing idealized attire, nothing like the clothing worn by real women of the period.  Dressing scantily or provocatively would have been frowned upon if a proper lady was sitting for a portrait in contemporary clothing, but if she were posing as an ancient goddess or muse, a little skin was perfectly acceptable.

 1600s Simon Vouet (French artist, 1590-1649) Anna of Austria as Minerva with Minerva's symbol of the owl at her feet.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom & sponsor of arts, trade, & defense. She was born of Jupiter with weapons. She was fierce, and she was brilliant.  From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, & magic. 

 1620s Paulus Moreelse (Dutch artist, 1571-1638) Unidentified Lady as Minerva

Many portraits of an idealized Minerva were produced as well as these allegorical portraits portraying real women in the role of Minerva.  This post will look at those contemporary ladies depicted as the goddess.

 1640 Charles Dauphin (French artist, c 1620-1677) Marie Christine de France as Minerva

 1640 Louis Ferdinand Elle the Elder (French artist, 1612-1689) Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans Grande Mademoiselle as Minerva

 1640 Margaret Yolande of Savoy, Duchess of Parma as Minerva

 1650 Attribued Henri Gascard (French artist, c 1635-1701) Traditionally identifiied as Ninon de Lanclos (1620-1705)

 1650 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692) Anne Marie d'Orleans La Grande Mademoiselle as Minerva

 1650s Joseph Ii Werner (Swiss artist, 1637-1710) Christine Marie de France, Duchesse de Savoie as Minerva with her son  Francesco Hyacinte

 1650s Portrait of Anna Margaretha van Bocholt (1628-1692) as Minerva

 1650s Studio of Jean Nocret (French artist,  1615-1672) Laura Mancini 1636-1657 as the goddess Minerva or as Diana

 1660 Pierre Bourguignon (French artist, 1630–1698) Anne Marie Louise as Minerva with a portrait of her Father Gaston (brother of Louis XIII) Maria Teresa of Spain, Queen of France

 1660 Pierre Mignard (French artist, 1612-1695) Madame Lagley as Minerva

 1661 Caspar Netscher [Dutch painter, c 1635-1684] Henriette Anne d'Orleans as Minerva

 1662 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland

 1663  Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Portrait of a woman in Minerva's dress Christina of Sweden as Bradamante

 1664 Simon Renard de Saint-André (French artist, 1613–1677) Anne of Austria with Queen Marie Therese

 1665 Antoine Mathieu Henriette d'Angleterre as Minerva holding a painting of her husband the Duke of Orléans

 1670 Johann Hulsmann (1600-1660) Liselotte of the Palantinate as Minerva

 1670 Unknown artist. Portrait of Henriette Adelaide of Savoy (Electress of Bavaria) in armour

 1670-90 Pierre Mignard (1612–1695) Portrait of Olympia Mancini (1638-1708), comtess of Soissons depicted as Athena

 1670s Pierre Mignard (1612–1695)  Portrait of Mue Mertain as Minerva

 1670s Style of John Michael Wright (British artist, 1617-1694) Elizabeth Washington (c.1655–1693), Lady Ferrers, as Minerva

 1675 Henri Gascard (French artist, c 1635-1701) Frances Teresa Stewart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox (1647-1702)

 1679 Joseph Wright (English artist) Frances Teresa Stewart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox (1647-1702) as Minerva

 1690s Jan Frans van Douven (Dutch artist, 1656-1727) Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici (1667–1743)

 1700s Jean-Baptiste Santerre (French artist, 1658-1717) Philippe II d'Orleans 1674-1723 the Regent of France and Madame de Parabere as Minerva

 1725 Unknown Polish artist,  Portrait of Elżbieta Sieniawska née Lubomirska as Minerva.

 1732 Jean-Marc Nattier (French artist, 1685-1766) Mademoiselle de Lambesc As Minerva, Arming Her Brother The Comte de Brionne

 1735 Antoine Pesne 1683-1757 Jean-Philippe Baratier (1721-40) Presented to Minerva

1765 Louis-Michel van Loo (1707-1771) Portrait of Marie Leszczyńska, Queen of France and her daughter in law Maria Josepha of Saxony, Dauphine of France