VOET, Jacob Ferdinand
(b. 1639, Antwerpen, d. ca. 1700, Paris)

Portrait of Ortensia Mancini

Oil on canvas, 73 x 57 cm
Private collection

Ortensia Mancini (1646-1699), was the fourth of the five celebrated Mancini Sisters (Laure, Olympe, Marie, Marie Anne and Ortensia), daughters of the sister of Cardinal Mazarin, the chief advisor of the young King Louis XIV of France and reputed lover of his mother, Anne of Austria. After their father's death in 1650, the Mancini girls were brought to France by their mother, who hoped that her brother would help find rich and titled husbands for her brood of girls.

The five Mancini girls were to become the talk of Paris thanks to their sumptuous dark haired, olive skinned beauty and wild, flamboyant manners, with the young Ortensia (Hortense in Paris), her uncle's favourite niece being the most badly behaved of them all as she grew up into a bold eyed beauty, who was absolutely impossible to resist.

At the age of fifteen Hortense was married to one of the richest men in all Europe, the Duc de Meilleraye, with the couple being declared Duc and Duchesse de Mazarin after their wedding day.

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