User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Princess Mary, Daughter of Charles I

Start collecting

This portrait of Princess Mary of England may have been painted around the time negotiations were underway for her marriage to William II of Orange. Van Dyck represents the young princess with a maturity and poise beyond her years. She is not dressed as a child, but as a woman worthy of sharing...

Show Full Description


Possibly Charles I (b. 1600 - d. 1649), King of Scotland and England, Hampton Court Palace; 1649, possibly collected by the House of Commons and sold to Emanuel de Critz (b. 1608 - d. 1665) [see note 1]. Possibly Cardinal Jules Mazarin (b. 1602 - d. 1661), Paris [see note 2]. Augustus Phipps (b. 1762 - d. 1826), Mulgrave Castle, Lythe, near Whitby, England; April 19, 1834, posthumous sale of the Hon. Augustus Phipps, Christie, Manson, and Woods, London, to Welbore Ellis Agar, 2nd Earl of Normanton (b. 1778 - d. 1868), Somerley, Ringwood, England [see note 3]; until 1927, by descent within the family to Sidney James, 4th Earl of Normanton (b. 1865 - d. 1933); 1927, sold by the Earl of Normanton to Agnew, London (stock no. 6818) [see note 4]; 1928, sold by Agnew to Alvan Tufts Fuller (b. 1879 - d. 1958), Boston; 1959, to the Alvan T. Fuller Foundation; 1961, gift of the Alvan T. Fuller Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 10, 1961) NOTES: [1] Thanks are due to Sebastian Edwards for suggesting that this portrait of Mary Stuart (b. 1631 - d. 1660) may have been owned by her father, Charles I. In 1647, the king wrote in a letter about his pictures at Hampton Court, including "the Originall of My eldest Daughter (it hangs in this chamber over the board next to the Chimney)," though he does not specify the artist. In 1649, when Charles was executed, inventories of his collection were drawn up and included a "Princess Mary. princess of Orange. at Length." This was sold to Emanuel de Critz, a portrait painter who may also have worked as a dealer. See Oliver Millar, "Van Dyck in London," Burlington Magazine 110 (June, 1968), 311 and ibid., "The Inventories and Valuations of the King's Goods, 1649-1651," Walpole Society 43 (1970-1972), 151, no. 9. [2] The 1661 inventory of Cardinal Mazarin's collection included a painting "by Van Dyck, on canvas…the Princess of Orange, standing, dressed in blue," measuring approximately 48 by 39 inches. Oliver Millar has tentatively identified this with the MFA painting, which measures 52 by 42 inches. See Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004), 339, cat. no. III.113 and 554, cat. no. IV.161. Although the MFA painting cannot be positively identified in the collection of Charles I (see above, n. 1) Mazarin did acquire, through agents, a number of works of art at the Commonwealth sales. [3] The April 19 sale was made up of the property of the late Viscountess Hampden. An annotated copy of the catalogue (reproduction in MFA curatorial file) has on its last page a handwritten description of the sale of four items "from the late Hon. Aug. Phipps's collection." The first is a painting by Van Dyck described as the "Princess Eliz. daughter of Charles 1st," sold to Lord Normanton for £135.9. [4] The stock number is found on a label on the reverse of the original stretcher. It was sold to Agnew as a portrait of Princess Henrietta Maria.

Credit Line

Given in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by the Fuller Foundation

about 1637


132.1 x 106.3 cm (52 x 41 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas