VAN SOMPEL, Pieter after Anthony VAN DYCK; [Marguerite of Lorraine, DUCHESS OF ORLÉANS, (1615-1672, portrait of)]
Margarita Coniux Gastonis [Margarita wife of Gaston d'Orleans]
Haarlem: Published by Pieter Soutman, circa 1644. Mixed method, engraving and etching. Printed on fine watermarked laid paper. In excellent condition. Image size: 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 20 1/2 x 15 inches. Plate mark: 16 x 11 inches.
A lavish engraving from a series of portraits of Hapsburg royalty published by Pieter Soutman.
This stunning portrait is from a suite of engravings published by Pieter Claesz Soutman. Executed by some of the most noted seventeenth century engravers, the suite is a lavish series of portraits of the Hapsburg dynasty. A prolific engraver and publisher, Soutman began his career as a painter in Ruben's studio. In 1628 he returned to Haarlem and founded his own workshop, which was responsible for training some of the most celebrated printmakers in Holland. Marguerite of Lorraine, born into the prestigious House of Lorraine in Nancy, emerged as a figure of strength and resilience. Raised by her aunt Catherine of Lorraine, the Abbess of Remiremont, after the loss of her mother, Marguerite's life was intertwined with political upheavals and clandestine romance. She became the Duchess of Orléans through a secret marriage to Gaston, Duke of Orléans, the younger brother of King Louis XIII. This union was kept hidden due to France and Lorraine being historical adversaries. Thus Marguerite's relationship was marred by betrayals and political maneuvering as Henri II, Duke of Montmorency, exposed her elopment, leading to the annulment of her marriage to Gaston. It was only on his deathbed that King Louis XIII pardoned Gaston and allowed him to remarry Marguerite. They solemnized their marriage for the third time and were welcomed at the French court, where Marguerite took on the title of Madame. As Madame, she resided in the Luxembourg Palace and later at the Château de Blois. Although she was received warmly at the French court, Marguerite faced personal challenges, battling agoraphobia and rarely participating in her courtly duties. After Gaston's death in exile, the Dukedom of Orléans passed to his nephew, and Marguerite became the Dowager Duchess of Orléans. She continued to reside in the Palais d'Orléans until her passing in 1672, leaving a legacy of resilience in the face of political intrigue and personal struggles.
Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings, and woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700 Vol XXVII, p. 209, no. 12, state i;Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs.