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Cardinal Mazarin's Last Sickness
  • Date: 1830
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 56.4 x 97.5 cm
  • Object size: 87 x 127.5 x 12 cm
  • Inv: P314
  • Location: West Gallery II
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Further Reading
  • Pendant to 'The State Barge of Cardinal Richelieu on the Rhône' (P320), both paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1831. Here it is 1661, and the dying Mazarin is shown surrounded by aristocrats who have been forced by his policies to abandon their lands and become his sycophantic followers. The man bowing in the centre is the Spanish Ambassador, and the young woman on the right looking back towards him wistfully is one of Mazarin’s nieces, Marie Mancini, who had a love affair with Louis XIV. One of Mazarin’s last acts had been to arrange a marriage between Louis and Maria Theresa of Spain, thus thwarting the ambitions of his own niece to become queen. The theme of the painting is therefore, as with the pendant, the expanding power of the French monarchy in the seventeenth century - a policy which ultimately, many believed, would lead to the French Revolution.