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Title Anne of Austria (1601-1666)
Collection English Heritage (Chiswick House)
Artist Attributed to Elle, Ferdinand (Flemish painter, born ca. 1585, died 1637-1640)
Previously attributed to Elle, Louis Ferdinand, the elder (French portraitist and engraver, ca. 1612-1689)
Date Earliest about 1634
Date Latest about 1643
Description This painting has traditionally been ascribed to Ferdinand Elle. There were three generations of portrait painters named Ferdinand Elle, they are: Ferdinand Elle the Elder (around 1585-around 1640); his son Louis Elle, (called Ferdinand Elle or Louis Le Père 1612-1689) and his son Ferdinand Elle (also called Louis Le Fils 1648-1717). They all specialised as portraitists in the courtly style. The first two deployed a late mannerist style dependent on the formulaic examples of Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622), Louis' style being differentiated from that of his father by the occasional use of poses borrowed from Van Dyck. Although the dates of the Ferdinand Elle with which this painting has been associated are those of Louis Elle, it is more likely, given the subject of the two portraits at Chiswick, that they are the work of Ferdinand Elle the Elder or his studio. At an early age the painter of Flemish descent travelled to Paris, here he became court painter to Louis XIII (1601-1643) and is reputed to have been the teacher of Nicolas Poussin. The two paintings given to Ferdinand Elle at Chiswick are as Horace Walpole described them in 1760 of 'Louis XIII & Anne of Austria his Queen, whole lengths'. Their attribution to Ferdinand Elle the Elder could then correspond to Dodsley's confused attribution of 1761 to 'Fred. Elde' presumably intending Ferdinand the Elder. The daughter of Philip III of Spain, Anne of Austria (1601-1666) was married to Louis XIII in 1615 and on his death in 1643 became regent of France, this painting was made as a pendent to that of her husband and should probably be dated 1634-43.
Current Accession Number 88003006
Former Accession Number 139
Subject portrait (Anne of Austria)
Measurements 282 x 226 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Transferred to Chiswick as part of the Chatsworth Settlement 1958.
Provenance Burlington collection, at Chiswick House by about 1729, recorded in the Dome Saloon about 1740; Devonshire collection 1753; moved to Chatsworth 1892; hanging on the Oak Staircase landing there by 1952.
Publications Walpole, H., 1760, in 'H. Walpole Journals of Visits to Country Seats', Walpole Society n. 16, [1927-28] pp. 22-23, p. 22 as 'Louis XIII & Anne of Austria his Queen, whole lengths'; Dodsley, R. J., London and its Environs Described, 2 vols., 1761, vol. II, p. 116 as 'by Frederick Elde'; Walker, R. J. B., Catalogue of the Pictures, 1973 (unpublished).
Notes The canvas was enlarged on all sides to fit the frame designed by William Kent.
Rights Owner Copyright English Heritage
Author Francesco Nevola

 

 

 

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