Francesco Bertosi

Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska, 1701 - 1735. Wife of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

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 Europe and, most importantly, a massive dowry. George I 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 an early copy of her first official portrait, originally painted by Trevisani in 1719, and is the work of Trevisani’s pupil, Francesco Bertosi. It shows Clementina with her hair powdered and adorned with diamonds and pearls, and wearing a bodice stiff with gems.

Updated September 2022

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