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Anne of Denmark

1 portrait of Anne of Denmark

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Anne of Denmark

after Paul van Somer
oil on canvas, feigned oval, 17th century, based on a work of circa 1617
24 3/4 in. x 21 in. (629 mm x 533 mm)
Purchased, 1861
Primary Collection
NPG 127

Sitterback to top

  • Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), Queen of James I. Sitter associated with 49 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Paul van Somer (circa 1576-1621), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 35 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The Queen is shown wearing some of her famous and important jewels: the crowned 'S' refers to her mother, Sophia of Mecklenberg and the crowned 'C' to her brother, Christian IV of Denmark. The cross-bow jewel in her hair may have belonged to Elizabeth I.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 19 Read entry

    Jewellery was an essential part of the image of the royal family and courtiers. Portraits of Anne of Denmark, wife of James I, reveal a fondness for jewelled adornments, and she is shown here wearing some of the most famous and distinctive jewels from her spectacular collection. Tudor and Jacobean jewels were frequently crafted into heraldic emblems, animals or letters. Those worn by Anne refer to her immediate royal relations: the crowned ‘S’ pinned to the left side of her collar refers to her mother Sophia of Mecklenberg, and the crowned ‘C’ on the right to her brother Christian IV of Denmark. The distinctive crossbow-shaped jewel in her hair may have previously belonged to Elizabeth I, whose jewels were being distributed and sold off around this time. She also wears a jeweled sacred ‘HIS’ monogram and a large cross, symbols of the Catholic faith to which she had converted.

  • MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 29
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 14
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 7
  • Sumner; Ann; Walker, Richard, Secret passion to noble fashion : the world of the portrait miniature, 1999, p. 17 no 2

Events of 1617back to top

Current affairs

Robert Carey, Earl of Monmouth is made Chamberlain to Prince Charles.
Petitions from Catholics persuade James I to permit certain types of recreation on Sundays. However, the king's subsequent declaration of sports angers Puritans who advocated for appropriate and strict observance of the sabbath.

Art and science

Physician and Rosicrucian, Robert Fludd, begins to publish his philosophical work, Utriusque cosmi. Extensively illustrated with mystic emblems, Fludd's neoplatonist metaphysics suggested a complex relationship between the spiritual and physical world, prompting attacks from leading scholars.


International

Incited by Charles d'Albert, Duke of Luynes, Constable of France, the seventeen-year-old French king, Louis XIII, forces his mother Marie de Medici who has held de facto power, into retirement and has her favourite, Concino Concini, assassinated.

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