Monday, January 7, 2013

Triumph of the Winter Queen February 14 - July 21, 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

On Valentine’s Day, the wedding anniversary of the Winter King and Queen, Gerrit van Honthorst’s (Dutch, 1590–1656) Triumph of the Winter Queen (1636) will be unveiled at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This recently conserved painting, measuring almost 10’ by 15’, depicts Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (the Winter Queen), seated on a chariot drawn by three lions and surrounded by her numerous children. Her beloved husband, Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate (the Winter King), and her oldest son, Frederick Henry, both deceased when the artist painted this work, are bathed in a golden celestial light. Neptune, Envy, and Death are shown trampled by the chariot's spiked wheels.

By means of an innovative media experience, as well as graphic panels, the exhibition will explore the political and personal history of the figures in the painting—stories of warfare, exile, separation, and loss—which will aid in understanding the elaborate allegory, the artist’s production, and the age in which it was created.

IMAGE: Detail from Triumph of the Winter Queen, 1636, Gerrit van Honthorst. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.