Portrait of Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria (1566-1633), Infanta of Spain, half-length turned slightly to left, wearing white dress trimmed with red rosettes etc., large ruff, and jewelled headdress; after Frans Pourbus II
Oil painting on canvas
- Early 17thC
- Height: 72.1 centimetres
- Width: 56.1 centimetres
Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria (1566-1633), Infanta of Spain, was the daughter of Philip II and his third wife Elisabeth of Valois. A favourite child, she was married to her cousin Archduke Albert the Pious and, as arranged by Philip, they reigned together as rulers of the Netherlands from 1601. After Albert’s death in 1621 she became Governor of the Netherlands on behalf of the King of Spain. The court at Brussels was one of the foremost political and artistic centres of Europe. There are numerous portraits of Isabella and this one is considered to be in the style of Frans Pourbus the younger (1569-1622). Unfortunately its provenance is lost and it does not appear in the Museum’s records until the mid 19th century. It is recorded as 'Isabella, Infanta of Spain' in the 1842 and 1879 List of Paintings..... The painter, probably 16th century, is unknown and so far the painting's provenance has not yet been discovered. It was then said to be by Frans Pourbus.
The BM’s portrait is identical to one in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam dated to c. 1600. Many versions of this portrait exists, the original probably the one in the monastery of Descalzas Reales in Madrid, dated 1599-1600; see B. Ducos, 'Frans Pourbus le Jeune', Dijon, 2011, cat.no.P.A.16, pp.199-201.
Published in Connoisseur CXLVII, No. 593, April 1961, p. 193.
Eastern Zoological Gallery (1842, 1879)
Gold Ornament and Gem Room.
Passage leading to the Director's Office (1950).
Repaired and glazed by Buttery, 1893. Examined 2.iv.63. In reasonably sound condition.
The provenance of this painting has not yet been traced. The Conoisseur CXLVII, No. 593, April 1961 p.194 suggests that 'it may well have been [in] the Sloane Collection'. It is not, however, listed in Sloane's ms catalogue and the earliest reference to its presence in the British Museum so far traced is 1842. A Sloane attribution seems unlikely as the painting is not identifiable in Sloane’s catalogue. It does not appear on the 1810 manuscript list in the Department of Prints & Drawings (although there are ‘unknowns’) but it is included on the BM’s 1844 printed list.
Prints & Drawings
Portrait of Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria (1566-1633), Infanta of Spain, H.L., turned slightly to l., wearing white dress trimmed with red rosettes etc., large ruff, and jewelled headdress.. Oil painting on canvas
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: PIC134382
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.