On Display Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court Erin Griffey

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Publication date:
15 Jan 2016
Paul Mellon Centre BA
384 pages: 267 x 216mm
84 color + 46 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


In the early modern period, rulers demonstrated their power and influence through carefully curated “display”—their presence in court ceremonies, their palaces and their contents, and their portraits.  Henrietta Maria of France (1609–1669), queen consort of King Charles I of England, embraced these opportunities for display with particular flair. This richly illustrated book follows Henrietta Maria through and beyond the Bourbon and Stuart courts to chart her patronage and engagement with the visual arts, building works, and the luxury trade. It develops a powerful picture not just of the images, fashions, interiors, and buildings shaped by the queen’s directorial influence but also of the political and religious factors that governed her choices and policies of court display. Her cultural patronage in particular emphasized her family honor, dynastic clout, Catholic piety, feminine virtue, and discerning taste. Erin Griffey analyzes the full spectacle of the queen’s represented image, not only through the well-known portraits by Sir Anthony van Dyck but also through her rich bed ensembles, tapestries, jewelry, clothing, and devotional goods—the objects that embodied and conveyed her royal power.

Erin Griffey is senior lecturer in art history at the University of Auckland.

“Makes an important contribution to the wider study of Early Modern visual and material culture, the concept of magnificence, and the place of the queens consort within these debates.”—Sara Wolfson, Art Newspaper


“A densely detailed study”—Sarah R Cohen, College Art Association