Friday, 13 February 2009

Princess Mary Returned

Sir Anthony van Dyck - Princess Mary (1637)A Portrait of Princess Mary by Sir Anthony van Dyck is back in the Royal Collection after more than 360 years and is now on public display at its former home: Hampton Court Palace. When King Charles I did a runner from the Roundheads in 1647, he left orders that this portrait of his eldest daughter be sent to Lady Aubigny. After the King got the chop, Lady Aubigny fled to the Hague with the painting, which appeared in a number of European collections over the next 300 years. In 1967 it was bought in a London sale by Sir Oliver Millar. After he died, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council accepted the painting in lieu of £1.05m inheritance tax. What a bargain! And a vital part of British heritage, unlike that Titian the chumps recently bought for £50m.


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