after Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn, Henry Frederick, Prince of the Palatine

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Henry Frederick, Prince of the Palatine
after 1623
Brown Parlour
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 37 cm, Overall width: 31 cm
after Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (1570-1657)
Catalogue Number


The subject has been identified traditionally as Henry Frederick Stuart (1594–1612), first child of James I and Anne of Denmark, and from 1610 Prince of Wales. However, comparison with the original portrait of the subject at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire (fig. 1),1 confirms the sitter as Henry Frederick, Prince of the Palatine.

1600 - 1669. Oil on panel, 67.3 × 53.3 cm. National Trust, Kedleston Hall (108894).

Figure 1.
Jan Anthonisz van Ravensteyn, Prince Frederick Henry, Crown Prince Palatine, 1600 - 1669. Oil on panel, 67.3 × 53.3 cm. National Trust, Kedleston Hall (108894).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

Another copy of the same portrait, dated 1623 on the panel, is at Erddig, Wrexham.2 In both the other versions the subject is depicted as a half-length portrait, while the Doddington version depicts only the head.

Prince Frederick Henry (1614–1629) was the eldest son of Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I, and Frederick V, Elector Palatine; which accounts for the confusion over the identity of the sitter. In the present portrait, Frederick Henry is aged nine years old. In the winter of 1619–20 his parents ruled briefly over Bohemia, which gave rise to the soubriquets the ‘Winter King’ and ‘Winter Queen’. Frederick Henry did not succeed his father as elector, as he was drowned off the coast of Haarlem, in the Ijssel Sea, aged fifteen, on 17 January 1629.

Jan van Ravesteyn (c.1572–1657) was born and died in The Hague, where he was painter to the Dutch court and member of the Guild of St Luke. A successful artist, he painted a number of portraits of the Royal Family of Orange, members of the city government and the civic guard. Sir Anthony van Dyck drew van Ravesteyn’s portrait in the late 1620s or early 1630s when working in The Hague for Elector Frederick Henry (Albertina, Vienna). It is not known when the present portrait after van Ravesteyn was acquired, although it may have been purchased by a member of the Hussey family, who were staunch Royalists.

by Martin Postle


  1. NT 108894.

  2. NT 1151361.


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