About this artwork

James Francis Edward Stuart, the son of the deposed King James VII and II, knew the importance of producing heirs for the continuation of the Stuart dynasty. His choice of bride was the young Polish princess, Maria Clementina Sobieska. The granddaughter of the Polish hero-king, John III, she had connections with courts across Catholic Europe and, most importantly, a massive dowry. King George I of Great Britain and Ireland tried to prevent the marriage and had Clementina arrested on her journey to Italy during the winter of 1718/19. However, after a daring rescue mission, Clementina arrived safely in Rome. This is her first official portrait. She is shown with powdered hair adorned with diamonds and pearls, and her bodice stiff with gems.

Updated before 2020

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