chapter  6
24 Pages

‘By Our Direction and For Our Use’: The Queen’s Patronage of Artists and Artisans seen through her Household Accounts

Henrietta Maria’s activities as a connoisseur and patron of the fine and decorative arts have been overshadowed by those of her husband Charles I, who is generally regarded by art historians as having the finest taste of any English monarch.1 Difficult sources, and the queen’s young age when she arrived – ignorant of English – in England, have led to premature assumptions, and discouraged investigation of her patronage. A scholar recently commented that there was ‘no reason to think that Henrietta Maria, who was then only 15 years old, was at all informed about art’.2