EUGÈNE SIBERDT (Belgian, 1851-1931)
    Adieux à la Chère France, 15 août 1561, 1923
    Oil on canvas
    55-1/2 x 39-1/2 inches (141.0 x 100.3 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: Eug. Siberdt / Anv[ers] 23

    This painting is housed in a gilt wood tabernacle-style period frame.
    Veilinghuis Bernaerts, Antwerp, Belgium, November 22, 2004, lot 64;
    Private collection, Texas, acquired from the above.

    The subject of this dramatic painting is the moment when Mary Queen of Scots departed from her beloved France after the death of her husband, King Francis II of France, who was the victim of a brain tumor. As an eighteen-year-old widow, and a foreign Queen in her own right, Mary Stuart (who had been named Queen of Scotland at age six following the death of her father James V) had no option but to return to her native Scotland where her French-born mother had been serving as Regent. Upon her return, it became immediately apparent that Mary had no knowledge of her own country, spoke French much more than English, and was in fact a petted princess of the French court. Her reign was disastrous for she knew little of the affairs of state and had neither the temperament nor training for rule.

    The academically-trained Belgian painter Eugene Siberdt, who twice won the Prix de Rome, based this ambitious painting of the embarkation of Marie Stuart upon a famous disembarkation painting by fellow Fleming, Peter Paul Rubens--that of Marie de Medici meeting Henry IV at Marseilles from 1622-25. In both Rubens' and Siberdt's paintings, the strong diagonal composition within a vertical format shows the respective queens dominating the top portion of the design. Rubens' work (as part of the 24-canvas Marie de Medici cycle) would have been available to Siberdt for firsthand study in Paris, in the permanent collection of the Louvre.

    Condition Report*:

    Unlined canvas; minor frame abrasions along extreme edges commensurate with age; light surface grime in sky; canvas appears to be slightly undulating in upper right corner and along far left bottom edge. Framed Dimensions 69 X 53 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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