Konstanze von Habsburg, Archduchess of Central Austria, Later Queen of Poland

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In this formal portrait, Archduchess Konstanze von Habsburg wears an elaborate costume and lavish jewels, attesting to her status as a member of one of seventeenth-century Europe’s most powerful families. The column on the left may reflect the imperial authority behind her station, while the monkey seated at her side indicates an aristocratic taste for exotic pets. This painting is possibly a second version of a work that the itinerant court painter Joseph Heintz originally made for the Austrian Habsburgs in 1603–1604. As a part of this commission, Heintz created an additional series of portraits to be sent to the Spanish branch of the family in Madrid. This practice was common among European royalty, serving to emphasize alliances and lineage.

Provenance

(Sale, Sotheby’s, Parke-Bernet, London, 17 Dec. 1969, no. 78, as School of Daniel Mytens, sold to Held); Julius Held (d. 2002), given to the Clark; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1982.

Joseph Heintz the Elder

Swiss, 1564–1609, active in Italy

Konstanze von Habsburg, Archduchess of Central Austria, Later Queen of Poland

1604

Oil on canvas

72 5/16 x 41 7/16 in. (183.6 x 105.2 cm) Frame: 80 15/16 × 50 × 2 1/4 in. (205.6 × 127 × 5.7 cm)


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Julius S. Held, 1982

1982.127


OFF VIEW