Coronation of Maria de'Medici
Unknown, maker, Italy, possibly
Unknown, maker, France, possibly
Maria de'Medici (1573-1642) daugher of Francesco I, grand-duke of Tuscany was married to Henri IV of France in 1600. She was crowned in the Basilica of Saint Denis on 13 May 1610, the day before her husband's assassination. Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) painted the series of twenty-four paintings known as the Medici Cycle between 1622-25 for the palais du Luxembourg. it is now in the Louvre. The fan was probably based on an engraving by Jean Audran (1667-1756) published in 1710.
circa 1700 circa 1720
early 18th Century
Single kid leaf painted in bodycolour and gold with the Coronation of Maria de'Medici after Rubens; ivory sticks and guards inlaid with mother-of-pearl and silver piqué point.
Single leaf of kid, painted in polychrome bodycolour with remnants of gilding on the lower edge. Sticks of ivory, pierced, carved, inlaid with etched/engraved mother-of-pearl plaques edged by silver piqué point. Guards inlaid with etched mother-of-pearl and silver piqué point, the head strengthened with mother-of-pearls. Rivet set with a pink paste. Front: painted overall with the Coronation of Maria de'Medici after Rubens. Reverse: undecorated. Sticks: pierced with a diaper pattern and carved with a, lady and gentleman seated on either side of the central motif: an oval mother-of-pearl plaque etched with a gentleman offering a heart to a seated lady. Arranged symmetrically above and on either side there are five stars, a crescent, fur diamonds, two ovals, two circular and two heart shapes, four bees and two baskets of fruit of etched mother-of-pearl, all outlined in silver piqué point. Guards: inlaid with flowers, foliage and a bird etched mother-0of-pearl framed by silver piqué point and having at the top a crown in silver piqué point.
inlay (process); sticks+guards
piqué point; sticks+guards
setting (jewellery); rivet
bodycolour; leaf; polychrome
paste; rivet; pink
Folding fan, single leaf of kid, painted in bodycolour with remnants of gilding on the lower edge. Sticks of ivory, pierced, carved, inlaid with etched/engraved mother-of-pearl plaques edged by silver piqué point. Guards inlaid with etched mother-of-pearl and silver piqué point, the head strengthened with mother-of-pearls. Rivet set with a pink paste
length, guards, 29.3, cm
width, whole, 52, cm
bought; 1985-01-28; Countess of Rosse, Anne
Colonel Leonard C. Messel (1872-1953); his daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse (1902-1992)
Messel, Leonard; owner
Countess of Rosse, Anne; owner
Maria de Medici (1573-1642) was born in Florence, the daughter of Francis de Medici, grand duke of Tuscany, and Joanna, an Austrian Archduchess. She married Henry IV of France in 1600 and became queen consort. Her children included her eldest son, who became Louis XIII, Gaston duke of Orleans, Elizabeth queen of Spain, Christine duchess of Savoy and Henrietta Maria queen of England. She became queen regent of France upon the murder of Henry IV in 1610.
In 1600, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) went to Italy. In Venice he was introduced to Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga and accepted his offer to join his court in Mantua. Rubens accompanied the duke on his travels to Florence and Rome; in Florence he happened to be present at the marriage of Marie de' Medici to Henry IV, King of France. Later his impressions would find reflection in the painting devoted to this episode as part of his largest commission ever. In 1621 he was commissioned to complete a series of 24 paintings for Marie de'Medici, the Queen Dowager of France, widow of Henry IV. The paintings, illustrating Marie's life, were for the palais du Luxembourg. It was not an easy work. The queen was far from being a beauty, her life was not eventfull, and she had a bad temper: She had constantly quarrelled with her deceased husband, Henry IV, wasted enormous sums of money, and bothered her son, Louis XIII, with constant advice so that at last he ordered her out of Paris. Rubens's diplomatic skills were much at hand in fulfilling the order. He successfully managed it within three years to the great satisfaction of the customer.
Purchased with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a gift from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam
old catalogue number; DR 28/370; Messel-Rosse Collection; 1985
Object Number: M.20-1985
(record id: 117606; input: 2004-12-07; modified: 2016-08-11)