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Frances Stuart, Duchess of Richmond

Jacob Huysmans

European Art

In this work, court painter Jacob Huysmans depicted Frances Stuart as Minerva, the goddess of intellect, military victory, and the arts, and a daughter of Jupiter. She sports the Roman goddess’s attributes: spear and armor, including a helmet and shield adorned with the head of Medusa. Minerva was also associated with chastity, and so the choice to represent Stuart in this guise might have been understood in the context of sexual intrigues at the seventeenth-century court of King Charles II of England. The king was infatuated with Stuart and, although he chose her as the model for Britannia, the female personification of Great Britain, she is thought not to have succumbed to his advances.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES mid 1660's
DIMENSIONS 77 3/4 × 46 3/8 in., 161 lb. (197.5 × 117.8 cm) frame: 84 × 52 1/2 × 4 in. (213.4 × 133.4 × 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. George C. Goodwin
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Jacob Huysmans (Flemish, ca. 1630-1696). Frances Stuart, Duchess of Richmond, mid 1660's. Oil on canvas, 77 3/4 × 46 3/8 in., 161 lb. (197.5 × 117.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. George C. Goodwin, 62.52 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 62.52_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 62.52_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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Jacob Huysmans (Flemish, ca. 1630-1696). <em>Frances Stuart, Duchess of Richmond</em>, mid 1660's. Oil on canvas, 77 3/4 × 46 3/8 in., 161 lb. (197.5 × 117.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. George C. Goodwin, 62.52 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 62.52_PS6.jpg)