Anonymous: Portrait of Jacoba of Bavaria & Frank van Borselen (16th century)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Two portraits of an unknown Dutch artist. Shown is Jacoba of Bavaria (1401-1436), Countess of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut, with her 4th husband Frank van Borssele (1395-1470), Lord of Sintmaartensdijk & Zuylen. Jacoba of Bavaria was the only child of Count William VI of Holland and Zeeland and his wife Margaret of Burgundy. Jacoba married in 1415 with her first husband John of Touraine (1398-1417). Jacoba followed her father at the age of 16 on when he died in 1417. The succession was not accepted everywhere, notably by Bishop John VI of Bavaria, and this meant a new resurgence of the so-called Hook and Cod wars (1350-1490). After the death of her first husband, she married again 1418 with her cousin in the 4th grade, Count John IV of Brabant - to strengthen her political position. However, after the 'Zoen of Woudrichem' (February 13, 1419), a peace treaty between Jacoba of Bavaria and her uncle John IV, Duke of Brabant and Limburg (1403-1427), Jacoba dissolved this marriage and left to England where in 1423 she entered into marriage with Humphrey Plantagenet Gloucester (1390-1447), son of King Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun. It turned out that the marriage of Jacoba an John IV of Brabant had not been dissolved yet and in 1428 her marriage was with Humphrey was dissolved. After the death of her uncle and opponent John VI of Bavaria the Hook and Cod wars was renewed but now between Jacoba against Duke Philip the Good of burgundy who was expand his territories in the Netherlands. After some fighting between the two sides, on July 3rd 1428 the a peace treaty was signed between Jacoba of Bavaria and Duke Philip of Burgundy (the 'kiss of Delft') where it was stated that Philip, became the heir of Jacoba as count of Holland and Zeeland and Jacoba was no longer allowed to marry. In 1433 Jacoba she "voluntarily" gave Philip all her lands and title because in practice Philip as Ruwaard was in control of her lands. The following year in 1434 Jacoba married again, now with Frank Borselen Lord of Sintmaartensdijk & Zuylen and governor of Holland and Zeeland. This marriage was also only a short-lived because Jacoba on October 9, 1436 died at the age of 35 from tuberculosis. The necklace that both have indicates that they are members of the Order of Saint Anthony. Normally on a set of 2 paintings like these the right painting (right is the strong position) is always the husband but as the politcal position of Jacoba was far more important then her husband Frank, Jacoba is shown in the right position in this set. These two paintings are 16th-century copies of two earlier 15th-century works.

Comments