Marie Anne De La Tour d'Auvergne (née Mancini), Duchesse de Bouillon

1 portrait

Marie Anne De La Tour d'Auvergne (née Mancini), Duchesse de Bouillon, by Benedetto Gennari, circa 1672-1673 - NPG 623 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Marie Anne De La Tour d'Auvergne (née Mancini), Duchesse de Bouillon

by Benedetto Gennari
oil on canvas, circa 1672-1673
38 1/2 in. x 33 in. (978 mm x 838 mm)
Purchased, 1881
Primary Collection
NPG 623

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Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

One of the celebrated nieces of Cardinal Mazarin, the great French Minister, Marie-Anne Martinozzi was celebrated for her beauty, intelligence and literary interests. Accused of trying to poison her husband, she was exiled from the French court at Versailles, and from Paris, in 1680. In 1687 she came to England to visit her sister Hortense, Duchess of Mazarin, who had been a mistress of Charles II; in 1688, the year of James II's flight, she returned to France. The Duchess is shown in this portrait in the guise of Cleopatra. This was a popular allegory in portraits of women of this period as it suggested that their beauty was as great as that of the famous Queen of Egypt. The pearl and gold cup allude to an incident in which Cleopatra is said to have dissolved a pearl in order to drink it.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 57
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 68

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