A beautiful portrait finds its new permanent home.
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, has added a unique portrait to its already outstanding permanent collection. Dated circa 1829-1830, “Maria Isabel de Borbón, Queen of the Two Sicilies,” is a gorgeous three-quarter portrait by Vicente López (1772-1850), a court painter relatively unknown outside Spain. Importantly, the portrait is the first painting by López to enter a public collection in the UK.
Despite the artist’s limited notoriety, his immense talent and skill are on full display in the picture. A robust Maria is shown exquisitely dressed in blue velvet and lace. She delicately holds a fan while resting her hand on a pillow. López has masterfully rendered the subject’s visage, her flushed cheeks radiating warmth and vitality. Behind Maria is the slender view of a landscape beyond. Particularly noteworthy is López’s attention to texture, especially that of the velvet in Maria’s hat and gown, as well as the lace that embellishes her shoulders and arms.
Fitzwilliam Museum Director Tim Knox suggests, “Our collections have constantly been growing over the past 200 years and we are committed to displaying works that have a strong research and learning focus, and offer something new and fascinating to our visitors. We are absolutely delighted to announce this acquisition on the eve of our bicentenary in 2016.”
“Maria Isabel de Borbón, Queen of the Two Sicilies,” is now on view in the Fitzwilliam’s permanent collection.
To learn more, visit the Fitzwilliam Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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