Memento Marie : compte rendu dans SCN

Emmanuelle Hénin et Valérie Wampfler (dir.), Memento Marie. Regards sur la galerie Médicis, Reims, EPURE, “Héritages critiques” – 10, 2019.

Compte-rendu d’Ariane Margolin dans Seventeenth-Century News, Vol. 80, Nos. 1&2, 2022, p. 27-30.

“Emmanuelle Hénin and Valérie Wampfler’s volume is both a useful and contributory study of power, allegory, and representation employed by Henry IV’s second queen, Maria de’ Medici, who ruled in the stead of Louis XIII between 1610 and 1617. An anthology of texts, images, and critical analyses related to Peter Paul Rubens’s Marie de’ Medici Cycle (1621–1625), a grandiose project portraying the deposed queen’s struggles and triumphs as regent, Memento Marie offers us a multifaceted analysis of the motivations behind the commission, both from the self-aggrandizing viewpoint of Maria de’ Medici as well as the artistic community which served as the viewing public. While the subject has been most recently discussed by Cyn- thia Lawrence, Carol Strickland, John Boswell, and Sara Galletti, this volume contributes to our understanding of the emblematic nature of the Maria de’ Medici Cycle as a biographical advertisement of female power in France and artistic experimentation and innovation. On one hand, the series of twenty-one paintings made use of allegory to justify the queen’s rise to an unprecedented status of proxy and authority in Salic France. On the other hand, these paintings would inevitably serve as the cornerstone of the 1671 quarrel between the pro-drawing Poussinists and the colorist Rubenists, as well as of the debate over allegory, mimesis, and ut pictura poesis in the eighteenth century. Memento Marie examines the use, intent, and reception of ekphrasis and allegory by several critics including Richelieu, Peiresc, Morgues, Bellori, Félibien, Pierre de Duput, Diderot, Winckelmann, and Quatremère de Quincy.”

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Crédit: Henri IV reçoit le portrait de Marie de Médicis,
Pierre Paul Rubens (1577-1640), © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre),
René-Gabriel Ojéda / Thierry Le Mage

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