The Queen

Marie Louise Gonzaga (1611-1667), duchess of Mantua and Nevers, future queen of Poland, grew up in the family estate in Burgundy. Her godfather was Louis XIII (1601-1643), the king of France, only a decade older than her. Her hand in marriage was sought in 1627 by the king’s brother Gaston, Duke of Orléans (1608-1660) and…

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Ecce Homo

Easter is coming. This is the “Ecce Homo” by Maarten van Heemskerck, a triptych ordered by the family Drenckwaert from Dortrecht in 1644. It was to serve them as a commemoration of their piety, as well as a means of obtaining salvation. The husband and wife, placed on both sides of the main panel, pray…

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A Model

Every time I pass this painting on the gallery it catches my eye. I wonder who was this black woman who posed for the Polish painter at Académie Julian in Paris. How did she get to France? Did she work as a model at the school for female artists, or was it a one-off event?…

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Meet Dodo

Images can store memories of long-lost people or objects. Sometimes they even revive them. I experience this feeling every time I look at the animals collected by Roelant Savere in his painting. Especially I am looking for the one hidden in the shadows behind a big bull in the foreground and shown in everlasting dispute…

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