National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Queen Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson Sir Anthony van Dyck (artist)
Flemish, 1599 - 1641
Queen Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson, 1633
oil on canvas
overall: 219.1 x 134.8 cm (86 1/4 x 53 1/16 in.) framed: 261.6 x 174 x 14.6 cm (103 x 68 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1952.5.39
On View
From the Tour: Sir Anthony van Dyck
Object 13 of 15

Queen Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson portrays the wife of Charles I with her trusted confidant, a fourteen-year-old midget. This court attendant, by contrast, makes his twenty-four-year-old mistress appear much taller and more commanding than her actual petite size. Sister to Louis XIII of France, the Catholic queen wears a satin hunting dress; her crown nestles inside a brocade drapery to one side. The exotic orange tree, besides its obvious expense, implies purity and love, but the monkey might allude to erotic passions. By gently laying her hand on the animal, the queen may embody virtue restraining passion. The monkey, named Pug, was the pet of Jeffrey Hudson, who accompanied the royal family to the safety of the French court when the English Civil War broke out. Although her husband was beheaded in 1649, Henrietta Maria lived to see her children resume the throne upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

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