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Attributed to David des Granges (c. 1611-c. 1675)

Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705) 1660-61

Watercolour on vellum laid on card with a gessoed back | 5.6 x 4.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 420101

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This miniature is a contemporary copy, attributed to David des Granges, of an oil portrait painted by Dirck Stoop c. 1660-1 and sent to England at part of the marriage negotiations between Catherine of Braganza and Charles II (National Portrait Gallery, London, no. 2563). Queen Victoria's Journal records that she saw a painting of this type at Cassiobury: '...a curious picture of Catherine of Braganza in her Portuguese dress, - the identical [one] sent over to Charles II; I have a miniature copy of it'.

The Portuguese costume to which Queen Victoria refers was perceived as old-fashioned and unflattering when Catherine of Braganza eventually arrived at Charles II's court in 1662 and she made a poor first impression on the king and his court. Samuel Pepys declared rather more kindly that 'though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest and innocent look, which is pleasing'.

The miniature is a late work by David des Granges, and its relative naïvety stands in direct contrast to the penetrating and lively miniature of this sitter produced by Samuel Cooper at almost exactly the same time (RCIN 420644).