A pair of portrait miniatures of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and Prince Henry Benedict Stuart will highlight Tomasso Brothers stand at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at Maastricht from March 13-22. Last in line as Stuart kings of Scotland Bonnie Prince Charlie (on the right in the image) led the final Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 that was to end in defeat at Culloden.
The miniatures of the brothers are by Jean Etienne Liotard, a highly esteemed portrait miniaturist. When in Rome between 1736-38 he was commissioned by the “Old Pretender” James Edward Stuart (1688-1766) to paint portraits of his young sons, Princes Charles and Henry. Powerful imagery of the Stuart royal family in the form of portrait miniatures, engravings and prints was despatched throughout Europe to raise funds for the Jacobite cause to reclaim the throne of England. These may have been part of a group sent to Vienna to Empress Elizabeth, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. A miniature of Prince Charles is also recorded as having been sent to Dorotea, Dowager Duchess of Parma and mother of the Queen of Spain.
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art is based at Bardon Hall in Leeds. A second gallery was opened at St. James’s, London in 2013. Significant sales have been made to museums including The Bode Museum, Berlin; the Liechtenstein Collection; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Yale Centre for British Art and the Art Institute, Chicago. The miniatures are priced at 275,000 euro.