Queen Henrietta Maria with Jeffery Hudson
Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Queen Henrietta Maria with Jeffery Hudson, 1633
Oil on canvas
86 1/4 × 53 1/16 in. (219.1 × 134.8 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington; Samuel H. Kress Collection
Charles I’s queen, Henrietta Maria, was the youngest child of Henri IV of France and Maria de’ Medici. In England, her lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith proved to be a major impediment to her popularity. Nevertheless, she served as the emotional mainstay of her husband’s life and provided an important cultural link among England, France, and the papal court at Rome. This is one of Van Dyck’s earliest portraits of the queen. He assimilates her into an English tradition of depicting queens in hunting dress, and a pan-European practice of representing royalty in the company of dwarves — in this case, Jeffery Hudson, a famous member of the queen’s retinue.