Horace Walpole's Catherine de Medici Family Portrait Accepted in Lieu

May 7 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News broke today of a monumental portrait of Catherine de’ Medici and Her Children, attributed to the Workshop of François Clouet, being accepted as part of the UK lieu of tax scheme. The portrait had been in the possession of the eighteenth-century collector Horace Walpole and will now return to his former residence Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham.

According an article published by The Guardian:

Dr Silvia Davoli, the curator at Strawberry Hill House, said Catherine’s gestures are highly symbolic, as she simultaneously presents the young monarch and protectively keeps him close to her, reflecting the substantial influence she held over the political life of France and the control and guidance she exercised over her son’s rule. It also shows the bond between members of the family – they are close and look alike.

The portrait settled £1m in tax and was brokered by the auction house Sotheby's. Visitors will be able to see the painting when the house reopens later this month.

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