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

1 portrait matching these criteria:

- npg number matching '623'

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

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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

Sitterback to top

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

Events of 1672back to top

Current affairs

Stop of the Exchequer, initiated principally by politician Thomas Clifford, later lord treasurer, causes financial panic as payment of Crown debts are suspended and redirected to fund the military for the ensuing Anglo-Dutch war.
The declaration of indulgence suspends the penal laws against both Catholics and Nonconformists.

Art and science

Physician, Thomas Willis, writes 'De anima brutorum' (The Souls of Brutes), one of the earliest comprehensive publications on neurology and the brain.
Mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton, is made a fellow of the Royal Society. Soon after, he presents to the Society his revolutionary theory of colours.


War with Holland. First naval battle at Solebay, during which Admiral Edward Montagu dies, proves inconclusive. However, occupation of Holland by French armies and general success of the English navy, initially overwhelms the Dutch. Amid upheaval, the Dutch rally under their new captain-general, William III, Prince of Orange.

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