Polissena d'Assia by follower of Martin van Meytens (auctioned)


This was auctioned by Christie's; their notes have this description, "The second wife of King Carlo Emanuele III, the sitter was born Polyxena Christina, daughter of Ernst Leopold, Graf von Hessen-Rheinfels-Rotenburg (1684-1749). She exercised considerable art patronage and the decoration of the summer palace at Stupinigi reflect her taste for the latest court style of the 1730s, including chinoiserie and trompe l'oeil decoration and Giovanni Battista Crosato's magnificent baroque ceilings. The present composition derives from a portrait type by Van Meytens that was paired with the pendant of her husband, as for example with those in the Swedish National Portrait Gallery, Gripsholm Castle (see B. Lisholm, Martin van Meytens d.y., Malmö, 1974, p. 100, no. 43, fig. 5). A group portrait of Queen Polissena and her children Vittorio Amadeo and Eleonora by Van Meytens is in the Gabinetto di toeletta del Re at Stupinigi. "

Polissena's dress is obscured by her robes, but she wears a yabbed bodice over what is probably a close skirt. The neckline is framed by a chain connecting one part of her robes, middle left, to another part, upper right. The Christie's auction notes have this description, "Portrait of Polissena d'Assia, Queen of Sardinia (1706-1735), bust-length, in a blue dress embroidered with silver thread and trimmed with lace and a red velvet shawl with ermine trimmings."

Keywords:  van Meytens, Polissena d'Assia, Princess, Queen, Savoia family, curly coiffure, hair jewelry, bateau neckline, modesty piece, tapered sleeves, tabbed bodice, vee waistline, robes, fur

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