Francesco Trevisani

Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, 1688 - 1766. Son of James VII and II (1720)

About this artwork

The father of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, King James VII and II, was overthrown in 1688. Known as 'The Old Pretender' James was only an infant when his parents fled into exile. Brought up at the French royal palace of St. Germain, near Paris, he was proclaimed King when his father died in 1701. Successive attempts to regain the throne for him failed and he finally settled in Rome with his Polish wife Maria Clementina Sobieska and their two sons, the elder of whom was Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who came to be known as ‘The Young Pretender’. Trevisani, one of Rome's leading artists, painted the state portraits of James and his wife in 1720, shortly after their marriage the previous year. This portrait is a version, possibly by Trevisani himself.

Francesco Trevisani

Francesco Trevisani

Trevisani was one of the most important painters working in Rome at the beginning of the eighteenth century. His father, who was an architect, taught him to draw before sending him to Venice to continue his artistic training. He remained there until around 1678 when he left for Rome. It was in 1696 that Trevisani really came to prominence following his execution of a series of large-scale paintings in the church of San Silvestro in Capite, Rome. Alongside his religious commissions, Trevisani also painted many important portraits including members of the exiled Jacobite court. According to the eighteenth century biographer, Nicola Pio: “no one could equal his ability for embellishing the pictures with costly dress and accessories all painted in the most realistic and lively manner possible”