Laat de kindertjes tot mij komen... Franse vorsten geportretteerd op een onbekende miniatuur
SourceDesipientia. Kunsthistorisch Tijdschrift, 15, 2, (2008), pp. 10-15
Article / Letter to editor
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Kunstgeschiedenis (t/m 2018)
Desipientia. Kunsthistorisch Tijdschrift
SubjectChristian Cultural Heritage; Christelijk cultureel erfgoed; Het bijbelse portrait historié in de Nederlandse schilderkunst van de zestiende en zeventiende eeuw
Let the Children come unto Me: French monarchs portrayed on an unknown miniature This article identifies eleven portraits of the French kings and queens from the reigns of Henry II to Henry IV in a miniature depicting Christ Suffering the Little Children To Come unto Him. It was painted by an unknown French artist in the first decade of the 17th century. Remarkable is the exotic garb of the mothers, which is identified as the typical dress worn by gypsies and was thought at the time to be of Egyptian origin. As a consequence these clothes seemed appropriate for biblical scenes. Depicted as witnesses to the biblical event are Michel de l’Hospital, Gaspard de Coligny and Louis I Condé, who played an important role in the French Wars of Religion. The story of Christ blessing the little children, recounted in the three synoptic Gospels (Mt 19; Mk 10; Lk 18), has often been connected with the theological debate about infant baptism. Nevertheless, the subject is not only depicted by Protestants but by Catholics as well. In this particular case the grapes – if they are to be interpreted as a symbol of the Eucharist – possibly allude to a catholic commission. The inclusion of royal descendants in the Kingdom of God – represented by the ‘immediate adoption of the Lord’ by the children – makes it clear that their worldly and hereditary power was legitimate. The French monarchy was thus presented as an institution by the grace of God.
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