Henri Gascard

Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth

Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth by Henri Gascard

Artwork Detail

Louise de Kéroualle was dispatched to England by Louis XIV to be the mistress of King Charles II. The painting has ironic references, not least the King Charles spaniel, as traditionally lap dogs symbolised faithfulness and chastity. The gesture of an outstretched hand was often used in marriage portraits, and may refer to the mock ceremony which took place between Louise and the King on her arrival in England in early October 1671. Although the symbolism is English, the overall picture has the formality of a French court painting.

Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth
Henri Gascard
Production date
circa 1670
oil on canvas
1215 x 983 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gifted in memory of Mr and Mrs Joseph James Craig of Auckland by their children, 1952
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

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