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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Mary of Hungary

b. 1505, Brussels; d. 1558, Spain

Mary (Maria), the daughter of King Philip I of Spain, married Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia. She was the queen consort of Hungary-Bohemia for four years (1522–26), until her husband’s death. In 1531, her brother, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (ruled 1519–56), appointed her governor-general of the Low Countries, filling a post vacated by the death of her aunt, Margaret of Austria. Like her illustrious predecessor, Mary was a discerning patron and collector of music and art; she inherited her aunt’s substantial collection of paintings, expanding it with many commissions by Titian as well as Flemish artists (she owned Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait). Mary ruled the Low Countries until 1555, when she retired to Spain and died three years later.