Rus Articles Journal

Rubens, “Marriage by proxy“. How it was?

One of pictures of the Maria Medici series in Louvre are called “Marriage by proxy“. On a cloth the moment when Maria Medici becomes the spouse of the king of France is imprinted.

In Maria`s life not all also not always was kingly. It early was left without parents, Grand Dukes of Tuscany, it and the sister Eleonora was brought up by the uncle Ferdinando Medici.

The uncle was a cardinal (in 14 years received a title without acceptance of priestly vows, that is it did not give a vow of chastity and therefore could not make church sacraments). After death of the brother in 1587 at the age of 38 years became the successor of the title “Grand Duke of Tuscany“, refused a pontifical cap and in two years married on 22 - to summer Christina de Lorrayn, Ekaterina Medici`s granddaughter.

Maria at that time was 12 years old, Eleonora - 20.

Of Medici historians write about Ferdinando that it was the best of governors of Florence.

Maria was at court of the uncle till 25 years, till the moment when Henry IV, the king of France, decided to marry it.

The bride, probably, was not a titbit - sat up in maids (very much can be that her behavior brought upon the uncle a lot of trouble). But a dowry - here that was Heinrich`s purpose: the treasury is empty, there is no place to fill up (to raise taxes it is problematic, they already caused revolts).

Write that Ferdinando of Medici gave 600 thousand florins for the niece - it is not pound of raisin! (The florin weighed 3,53 grams, 600 000 coins = 2 tons of gold).

The groom was semifresh: he was 46 years old. Besides, he needed to get a divorce with the first wife (allegedly from - for the fact that she is infertile). Only the Pope could part it. Procedure of receiving a consent of the father was difficult and long, but eventually special envoys of Heinrich finished the father and received the desirable.

So, Maria is married. She will be the queen of France, and it, probably, all the same as the husband looks that he represents. The main thing - a crown. And Heinrich at whom the bed was visited not by one woman needed a proizvoditelnitsa of the successor and money. It did not meet the bride earlier, only showed it her portrait.

He did not burn with any feelings at all and did not go to wedding. It sent instead of itself(himself) the faithful companions - as witnesses. And the groom - Heinrich - was represented by Ferdinando, Maria`s uncle. Wedding took place in Florence, in Palazzo Pitti. The cardinal Aldobrandini, especially for it sent by the father conducted a ceremony. Such is a historical background of the picture “Marriage by Proxy“.

In 1622 the artist and Maria Medici stipulated plots and the maintenance of pictures of all. In particular, there was also it: “8 - I am a picture. Wedding of the Queen. The Queen dressed in white, enjoying support and council of the Grand Duke Ferdinand and Velikoy of the Duchess Christina, accepts a wedding ring of the Hristianneyshy King from hands of the Grand Duke. The Grand Duke becomes engaged to it on behalf of the King. The marriage ceremony is made by the papal Nuncio in the Santa Maria church del Fyore. There is a goddess Juno, and the rainbow as a sign of a wedding appears“ .

As we see, presence of three real characters made a reservation: brides, Grand Duke and papal Nuncio. The Roman goddess Juno is the patroness of family bonds - had to bless as if marriage and to serve as its okhranitelnitsa.

Neither Juno, nor a rainbow are on a cloth which is exposed in Medici`s gallery. But there were other figures, quite terrestrial. This is Eleonora (Maria`s sister), Christina (the wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany) and Heinrich`s associates who led all to a marriage - it is special envoys, they conducted negotiations with the father on divorce and on a marriage with the Grand Duke of Tuscany: Nicholas Bryula de Silleri and Roget Saint`s de - Lari de Termes.

Christina and Eleonora were, probably, good girlfriends - they stand with the weaved hands (Christina for only two years was more senior than Eleonora). Sisters were amicable too: Eleonora was a godmother of Louis XIII, Maria`s son subsequently.

And here that Rubens`s friend writes:

“Peyresk - to Rubens
Paris. On October 27, 1622 [ital.]

The dearest Signor.

... I with pleasure learned that you were present when wedding the Queen - Mothers in the Santa Maria of del Fyore and at a banquet room... The main point is that the Grand Duke participated in a ceremony on behalf of the groom - the King. I very approve your decision to place the groom to the right, and the bride on the left, both in a profile, and the Cardinal in vestments of the priest, only the hat on his head, in my opinion, is not absolutely compatible to truth. It was included into church in a hat which during service was put on a small altarchik near the main altar, together with a raincoat and other signs of a pontifical dignity. It is good to find the suitable place for this altarchik with a red hat as it is more true, than a cross, a sign of a dignity of the prelate. I perfectly remember that I on it was archiepiscopal palliya over the priest`s cope; I do not know whether you will consider it necessary to keep it. [...] “ follows

From this letter that behind prescription of years Rubens`s memory was left by some details of this event (can be, he saw not everything). Rubens considered remarks of the friend to the last: on the cardinal is palliya (something like a tie with the embroidered crosses), the hat of the cardinal lies to the left of him on “a small altarchik“. However, Rubens kept also a cross - holds it as if a whisper.

As writes Pereysk, the cross is the prelate`s sign, as well as palliya. But Rubens left a cross as an occasion to leave also its carrier - the strange character similar to the artist.

His face is somehow distinguished from the others. It looks not in the center of a picture, not in the center of events, and at the viewer. (And maybe, on Eleonora Medici? Or on Christina Lorrayn, the duke`s wife? Or on both at once?) . This “crusader“ reminds Rubens. It is impossible to approve it, and to ask - there is nobody. The clothes of this character - any chlamys, like a dressing gown which is put on by the painter in the workshop and color of this chlamys do not correspond to solemnity of the moment in any way.

It is undoubted that Maria Medici told Rubens and about this event, and about its participants. It is very probable that Dzhakopo Chimenti`s cloth written in 1600, in a year of wedding was familiar to Rubens.

This idea is suggested by picture composition - Rubens has almost full repetition. But it is not the copy - other, more solemn clothes and other background: behind for the cardinal - sculptural group “Christ`s Mourning“ (what is not present in Chimenti`s picture).

Besides, all faces at Chimenti are turned to the viewer (except for Maria and Ferdinando), and Rubens has all attention to the center of a picture, except for one character.

There is a certain feature in Maria`s image in Chimenti`s picture: her hand lies on an outstanding stomach. Usually so pregnant women hold hands. If this is true (at the time of a wedding ceremony), there is clear a presence of a doggie in Rubens`s picture. Maria on Rubens`s cloth too not thin, but a stomach is not given (as in Chimenti`s picture). And a doggie - as the witness of a sin.

Wedding came true, Maria became the wife of the king of France.

In conclusion - about legal side of business. Here what about it is written by lawyers on the Internet:

“It is allowed at force majeure marriage by proxy according to legislations of Spain and Italy“.

“on July 19, 2011 the Supreme Court of Israel decided that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has no right to refuse record of the civil marriage concluded in Ale El Salvador between the citizen of Israel and the citizen of other country who is in Israel or between two citizens of Israel. It is about “marriage by proxy“, without presence of the parties (without departure of spouses out of borders of Israel)“.