1947. Paulus Lesire, The English queen Henrietta Maria

Object description
PAULUS LESIRE
Dordrecht 1611-1658
The departure in 1643 from Scheveningen by the English queen Henrietta Maria 1643
Signed and dated.
Oil on canvas laid on panel.
97 x 140 cm
Inscribed on the stone:
den Haegh het Hollants hoff weet opeen hooffs te leven De vriendschap die sy kryght die weet sy weer te geven. En schoon sij self wel eer haer koninhgschap verjoiegh Omdat het was te te....en sich te gaanck vroiegh S.........te min een Koninghin te vlyen........een goet gevoel en beter uyt te leyen 't was Koevenhoven die de Schuters voren gingh dit heught men en verget hoe ver men haer verfingh


PROVENANCE:
Paul de Fremery, San Francisco, 1908, his sale, New York, O. Rundle Gilbert, 16 December 1942, lot 32
Ir. J.J. Dony, his sale, Den Haag, van Marle & Bignell, 15 June 1954, lot 61

EXHIBITED:
On loan to the Haags Historisch Museum, Den Haag, 1908, cat. 261

LITERATURE:
A. von Wurzbach, Niederländische Künstler-Lexikon, 1910, vol. II, p. 30
U. Thieme, F. Becker (ed. H. Vollmer), Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, 1926, vol. XIII, p. 123
J.M. de Groot, Dordrechts Museum Bulletin, July 1979, vol. III. p. 2
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, 1983, vol. III, p. 1717, cat. 1162, reproduced p. 1743

In 1642 Henrietta Maria accompanied her daughter, the Princess Mary, on her journey to the Netherlands in order to conclude preparations for Mary's marriage to Willem, who was the son of the Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik, and who later became Willem II of the Netherlands. Negotiations had been in progress already since 1640. This marriage provoked much controversy in the Netherlands as its principle aim was to secure for Charles I the support of the Netherlands in his struggle against Parliament. The States General, on the other hand, were determined to pursue a policy of neutrality in this conflict. These conflicting demands on his loyalties were the source of some embarrassment to Frederik Hendrik and it was with some relief that he eventuelly bade the English Queen farewell in February 1943.

In spite of the subject and title of the picture, Henrietta Maria is given a somewhat subordinate role in the composition. The picture is conceived rather as a group portrait of the officers of the Haagse Schutterij. The central figure is Captain van Couwenhoven and the other figures on the right, also wearing orange sashes, are the captains Swart, van der Faes and Guyl. Interestingly, this subject is treated in an almost exactly similar manner in a picture by Sybrand van Beest, now in the Haags Historisch Museum (inv. 4/1862).