Portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales (1688-1766), ‘The Old Pretender’, wearing a suit of armour and blue sash of the Garter over his left shoulder, white lace; circa 1702

GBP 4,500.00

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Object Description

Oil on copper, stained pearwood frame.

Inscription on reverse (written by J.E Hodkgin).

The current portrait strongly resembles Belle’s 1702 portrait of James III in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, and is most likely by his wife, miniaturist Marie Anne Belle Chéron. This is all the more likely as by 1702, Belle was yet to form his studio (which would have included copyists) – this was not fully developed until 1706. In 1702, Belle and his wife, Anne, moved to Saint-Germain, home of the Stuart court from 1702, and quickly became integrated into the British Community there.

Belle painted a number of portraits of James, both as ‘Prince of Wales and later as ‘King’, which Anne replicated in miniature form. This painting was the first to show the prince in full armour following the declaration of war between England and France that same year. Demand for portraits of Stuart, specifically of James and Prince of Wales and King was so great that by 1706, Belle was running his own atelier, where his wife, Anne Chéron, would continue to paint miniature versions of his oil paintings. From 1702, it is known that three miniaturists were employed by the exiled Stuart court; Jacques Antoine Arlaud, Jacqueline de la Boissiere and Anne Chéron..

The sitter is James Francis Edward Stuart, otherwise known as the ‘Old Pretender’, and was one of the most emotive characters in British history. He was the son and heir of James II and VII (1633-1701) and his Italian Queen, Mary of Modena (1658-1718). The crisis prompted by James’ birth in 1688 inspired the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’, which saw his parents flee to the Continent and his half sister, Mary II (1662-1694), take the throne with her Dutch husband, William of Orange (1650-1702). When his father died in 1701, James was recognized by King Louis XIV of France as the rightful heir to the English, Irish and Scottish thrones, with the support of his Jacobite followers. Under the Act of Settlement, Catholics such as James were excluded from the English and British thrones. As a result of claiming his father’s throne, James was attained for treason in 1701, and his titles were forfeited under English law.

The wide dissemination of the portraits of the exiled Stuart family was essential in maintaining support for their hopeful return to England. Miniatures were particularly important, as they were portable and easily hidden. Although there are other versions of this portrait type attributed to Chéron, few have the provenance which leads to the original recipient as we have here for Dalham Hall. Dalham was built by Simon Patrick (1626-1707), a Lincolnshire-born Bishop, near Newmarket. In the 1920s the house was home to the Rhodes family, including Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902). Since 2009 the house has been owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai.

Object History

Dalham Hall, Dalham Estate, 1702; 1714, John Affleck buys Dalham estate; Sold by Robert Affleck, 1904; 1981, hall sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Emirates in1984, estate held in trust by his heirs until July 2009.

Object Details

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