Expressions of power and status by European royalty

European monarchs are recurring to a variety of symbols to assert their legitimacy, both on national and international levels. This source collection aims to contribute to improve students’ ability to express themselves historically, by offering contrasting artistic evidence to some of the portrayals of power and status by European royals. Thumbnail image: Portrait of Louis XIV (Roi Soleil, 1638-1715), King of France (1643-1715). (Hyacinthe Rigaud, Musée du Louvre via Europeana, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

This source collection made by Henrik Hartmann. The collection makes use of sources from the Europeana Collections and is developed as part of the Europeana DSI3 project, which is co-financed by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility.

Austria: Maria Theresa

Portrait of Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Holy Roman Empress (1745-1765); Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Croatia (1740-1780). (Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1747, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Austria: Maria Theresa

Portrait of Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Holy Roman Empress (1745-1765); Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Croatia (1740-1780). (Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1747, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Austria: Charles I

Portrait of Charles I (1887-1922), last Emperor of Austria; last King of Hungary (as Charles IV); and last King of Bohemia (as Charles III) (1916-1918). (Ferdinand Schmutzer, 1916, #5103637, LSCH 0019, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek via Europeana, available in low resolution for non-commercial usage in online-media)

Austria: Charles I

Portrait of Charles I (1887-1922), last Emperor of Austria; last King of Hungary (as Charles IV); and last King of Bohemia (as Charles III) (1916-1918). (Ferdinand Schmutzer, 1916, #5103637, LSCH 0019, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek via Europeana, available in low resolution for non-commercial usage in online-media)

Belgium: Leopold I

Portrait of Leopold I (1790-1865), first King of the Belgians (1831-1865). (J. Thomson, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)

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Belgium: Leopold I

Portrait of Leopold I (1790-1865), first King of the Belgians (1831-1865). (J. Thomson, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)

France: Maria de‘ Medici

Maria de’ Medici (1575-1642), Queen Regent of France (1610-1617), following the assassination of her husband, Henry IV, King of France. (Frans II Pourbus, 1590-1620, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

France: Maria de‘ Medici

Maria de’ Medici (1575-1642), Queen Regent of France (1610-1617), following the assassination of her husband, Henry IV, King of France. (Frans II Pourbus, 1590-1620, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

France: Napoleon Bonaparte

Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Emperor of the French and King of Italy (1804-1814). (Baron F.P.S. Gérard, 1805-1815, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

France: Napoleon Bonaparte

Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Emperor of the French and King of Italy (1804-1814). (Baron F.P.S. Gérard, 1805-1815, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Prussia: Frederick II

Portrait of Frederick II (Frederick the Great, 1712-1786), King of Prussia (1740-1786). According to the Rijksmuseum, the naming as Frederick III at the bottom of the image would be a mistake, as it would be Frederick II in the portrait. (Pieter Tanjé and Antoine Pesne, 1740-1761, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Prussia: Frederick II

Portrait of Frederick II (Frederick the Great, 1712-1786), King of Prussia (1740-1786). According to the Rijksmuseum, the naming as Frederick III at the bottom of the image would be a mistake, as it would be Frederick II in the portrait. (Pieter Tanjé and Antoine Pesne, 1740-1761, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Germany: Wilhelm II

Photograph of Wilhelm II (1859-1941), German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888-1918). (Unknown, 1916, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz via Europeana)

Germany: Wilhelm II

Photograph of Wilhelm II (1859-1941), German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888-1918). (Unknown, 1916, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz via Europeana)

The Netherlands: Willem I

Portrait of Willem I (1772-1843), King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1815-1840). (Joseph Paelinck, 1819, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

The Netherlands: Willem I

Portrait of Willem I (1772-1843), King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1815-1840). (Joseph Paelinck, 1819, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

The Netherlands: Willem-Alexander and Maxima

State Portrait of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, current King and Queen consort of the Netherlands (since 2013). (Unknown, Museum Korps Rijdende Artillerie via Europeana)

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The Netherlands: Willem-Alexander and Maxima

State Portrait of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, current King and Queen consort of the Netherlands (since 2013). (Unknown, Museum Korps Rijdende Artillerie via Europeana)

The Ottoman Empire: Ahmed III

Portrait of Ahmed III (1673-1736), 23rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1703-1730). (Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, 1700-1737, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

The Ottoman Empire: Ahmed III

Portrait of Ahmed III (1673-1736), 23rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1703-1730). (Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, 1700-1737, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

The Ottoman Empire: Mehmed VI

Portrait of Mehmed VI (1861-1926), 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1918-1922). (Agence Rol, 1922, Gallica BnF via Europeana)

The Ottoman Empire: Mehmed VI

Portrait of Mehmed VI (1861-1926), 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1918-1922). (Agence Rol, 1922, Gallica BnF via Europeana)

Russia: Peter I

Portrait of Peter I (Peter the Great, 1672-1725), Tsar of All Russia (1682-1721); Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russians (1721-1725). (Jacopo Amigoni, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Russia: Peter I

Portrait of Peter I (Peter the Great, 1672-1725), Tsar of All Russia (1682-1721); Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russians (1721-1725). (Jacopo Amigoni, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Russia: Catherine II

Portrait of Catherine II (Catherine the Great, 1729-1796), Empress and Autocrat of All the Russians (1762-1796). (Alexander Roslin, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Russia: Catherine II

Portrait of Catherine II (Catherine the Great, 1729-1796), Empress and Autocrat of All the Russians (1762-1796). (Alexander Roslin, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Spain: Philip III

Portrait of Philip III (1578-1621), King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia (1598-1621). (Frans II Pourbus, ca. 1600, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Spain: Philip III

Portrait of Philip III (1578-1621), King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia (1598-1621). (Frans II Pourbus, ca. 1600, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Spain: Charles V

Following their defeat, German protestants offer the keys to Charles V (1500-1558), King of Spain (1516-1556); Holy Roman Emperor, King of the Romans and King of Italy (1519-1556); and Lord of the Netherlands (1506-1555). (Antony van der Does, Gaspar de Crayer and Peter Paul Rubens, 1635-1636, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Spain: Charles V

Following their defeat, German protestants offer the keys to Charles V (1500-1558), King of Spain (1516-1556); Holy Roman Emperor, King of the Romans and King of Italy (1519-1556); and Lord of the Netherlands (1506-1555). (Antony van der Does, Gaspar de Crayer and Peter Paul Rubens, 1635-1636, Rijksmuseum via Europeana)

Sweden: Christina

Christina (1616-1689), Queen of Sweden (1632-1654), as Minerva. (Justus van Egmont, 1654, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Sweden: Christina

Christina (1616-1689), Queen of Sweden (1632-1654), as Minerva. (Justus van Egmont, 1654, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Sweden: Adolf Fredrik

Adolf Fredrik (1710-1771), King of Sweden (1751-1771). (Johan Hinrich Cornelius, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

Sweden: Adolf Fredrik

Adolf Fredrik (1710-1771), King of Sweden (1751-1771). (Johan Hinrich Cornelius, Swedish Nationalmuseum via Europeana)

United Kingdom: Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England and Ireland (1558-1603). (Oliver Isaac, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)

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United Kingdom: Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England and Ireland (1558-1603). (Oliver Isaac, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)

United Kingdom: Victoria

Photograph of Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901). (Unknown, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)

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United Kingdom: Victoria

Photograph of Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901). (Unknown, Wellcome Collection via Europeana)