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THE BIRTH OF LOUIS XIII.

The event here illustrated by Rubens is the birth of Louis XIII; the painter has in this picture represented Marie de Médicis forgetful of her sufferings, in seeing the infant, whose birth, by giving a legitimate heir to the crown of France, is the cause of universal satisfaction.

Near the queen, to the right, is the figure of Justice, who has received the infant and is confiding it, to the care of a genius, whose symbols point him out to be the genius of health. On the other side is Fruitfulness, characterized by a cornucopia, in which, among various fruits, the forms of five children are discovered, which the queen is to expect. The chariot of the sun mounting on high does not indicates the hour of the prince's nativity, for that occurred at ten in the evening, september 27, 1601.

In this picture, one of the most brilliant in the collection, the head of the queen is particularly excellent, we can perceive there, an expression of pain, almost entirely effaced by the extasy she feels, in beholding the prince, to whom she has given birth.

This picture has been engraved by Benoît Audran.

Height, 12 feet 9 inches; breadth, 7 feet 9 inches.

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MARIE DE MEDICIS INVESTIE DU GOUVERNEMENT.

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Rubens, ayant à donner dans cette galerie l'histoire de Marie de Médicis, et non celle de Henri IV ni de la France, il a choisi les événemens qui se rapportent principalement à la reine. Ainsi, après avoir représenté dans cinq tableaux les événemens de 1600 et 1601, il passe neuf années sous silence, parce que pendant tout ce temps il ne se serait rien trouvé de digne de figurer dans l'histoire. Mais en 1610, le roi ayant déterminé d'aller en personne commander l'armée qui faisait la guerre en Allemagne, afin de s'opposer à l'envahissement du duché de Clèves par la maison d'Autriche, il crut devoir confier le gouvernement du royaume à la reine. On voit en effet le roi remettant à cette princesse un globe chargé des armes de France. Le dauphin, debout entre eux, donne la main à la reine; les officiers armés qui sont à la suite du roi indiquent qu'on l'attend pour commencer la campagne. Quant aux deux figures qui se voient à droite, elles représentent, dit-on, la Prudence et la Générosité; mais il est permis de s'étonner que Rubens n'ait employé aucun moyen pour les caractériser et les faire reconnaître.

Ce tableau a été gravé par J. Audran.

Haut., 12 pieds; larg., 7 pieds 4 pouces.

MARIE DE MÉDICIS

INVESTED WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

Rubens, having to give in this gallery, the history of Marie de Médicis, and neither that of Henri IV, nor of France, has of course chosen circumstances that relate principally to the queen. After having represented in five pictures the events of 1600 and 1601, he has past nine years over in silence, because during that period, nothing occurred of consequence enough to figure in history. But in 1610, the king having determined to go and command the army acting in Germany, against the invasion of the dutchy of Cleves, by the house of Austria, he thought proper to confide the government of the country to the queen. In fact, we see him giving that princess a globe bearing the arms of France. The dauphin, standing between them, holds the queen's hand; the officers, who are armed and in the suite of the king imply, that they are waiting for him to commence the campaign. As for the two figures, which we see on the right, they represent, it is said, Prudence and Generosity; but we may well be surprized, that Rubens has given them no characteristic attribute, by which they might be recognized. This picture has been engraved by J. Audran.

Height, 12 feet 9 inches; breadth, 7 feet 9 inches.

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