Princess Maria Francisca Benedita of Bragança Queluz, Portugal, 1804 Pastel on paper 29,5 x 22 cm
The inscription on the false frame below reads: "Princepe da Beira. D. Pedro de Alcant[a]ra / Princeza do Brazil. invenite ed Pinxit. anno 1804".
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Title: Pedro of Alcântara, Prince of Beira
Long Description: Portrait of Prince Pedro as a child, aged around six and painted in 1804 by his great aunt, Princess Maria Francisca Benedita de Bragança, during a period when the Royal Family was permanently in residence at the Palace of Queluz through to their departure for Brazil in 1807.
The Princess, in this portrait in watercolours, reveals an interesting insight into her fondness for her nephew. Pedro appears sat, with his face three-quarters visible, looking forwards with his hands together in his lap. This simple compositional scheme is repeated in two other watercolours on paper with their colours protected by glass in frames appearing to be black and gold. These are portraits of Maria Teresa and Maria Francisca de Assis, sisters to the prince, painted in pastels that the art researcher and critic Luiz Xavier da Costa refers to in his study “Domingos Antonio de Sequeira, desenhador de medalhas” (1923). The Sequeira influence is clear as also are the similarities in the resemblance of Pedro as a boy with those of the face, the sweet childish expression, of Maria da Glória, Pedro's daughter, in the work completed by Sequeira in 1826 as a preparatory study for an Allegory of the Swearing of the Constitutional Charter.
In 1802, Sequeira was appointed master of drawing and painting to the princesses Carlota Joaquina and Maria Francisca Benedita, sister to Queen Maria I, grandmother of Pedro.
Creator: Princess Maria Francisca Benedita of Bragança (Lisbon, 1746-Lisbon, 1829)