Journal Article

Henrietta Maria's inventory at Colombes

Erin Griffey and Caroline Hibbard

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 159-181
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI:
Henrietta Maria's inventory at Colombes

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  • Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections
  • History of Art
  • Social and Cultural History


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The story of Henrietta Maria's death, and the inventory that documents her possessions, offers new insight into the constant and indeed connected flow of political missions, confessional loyalty, finances and artworks during the middle decades of the seventeenth century. The making of the inventory was more than a routine bureaucratic procedure; it provides a valuable entrée into high political intrigue, as those who were drawing up the inventory were also engaged in secret negotiations for the Treaty of Dover (1670). The assessment of the inventory itself, particularly the Queen's art collection, reveals a refined taste for old and ‘moderne’ masters, as well as a sense of her purpose as the handmaiden of the Catholic faith for a Protestant country. The inventory's significance to the history of collecting and display goes well beyond her space at Colombes, shedding new light on her rooms at the post-Restoration Somerset House, treasures she maintained from the 1630s, and possible acquisitions of the 1640s and 1650s. An online appendix is provided of paintings in Henrietta Maria's inventory at Colombes.

Journal Article.  18058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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