Marie de' Medici, Queen of France
40.2 cm x 29 cm (15 13/16 in. x 11 7/16 in.)
Jan Wierix (aka Johan Wierix)
(Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium, circa 1549 - circa 1618, Brussels, Belgium)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1991
Among Wierix's original works is this portrait of Marie de' Medici commemorating her marriage to Henry IV of France in 1600. Henry, the leader of the Protestants in France during the wars of religion, converted to Catholicism in 1593, partly to secure his place on the throne, and finally received absolution from the pope in 1595. His marriage to the daughter of the grand duke of Tuscany, an advisor to the pope, signaled to the governments of Europe France's reconciliation with Rome and a political alliance with the duke.