Christian, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Bishop of Halberstadt (1599-1626)

Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt (Delft 1567 – Delft 1641)
National Trust Inventory Number 493061

Category Art / Oil paintings
Date 1620 - 1626
Materials Oil on panel
Measurements 667 x 546 mm (26 1/4 x 21 1/2 in)
Place of origin
Collection Ashdown House, Berkshire
On show at Ashdown House, Berkshire, London and South East, National Trust

Summary description

Oil painting on panel, Christian, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1599-1626) by Michel Miereveldt (1567-1641). A head-and-shoulders portrait to right in armour and ruff, an orange scarf with silver embroidery covering his left shoulder and chest, a green armband round his right arm. Indistinctly signed and inscribed "AEtatis...." He was the third son of Henry Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Elizabeth of Denmark, sister of Anne of Denmark. He was the 'Administrator' of the secularized bishopric of Halsberstadt from 1616. Soldier and upholder of the cause of Frederick V of Bohemia, in the Thirty Years War, when he earned the sobriquet of 'der tolle Halberstädter' ['the Mad Halberstädter'] for his impetuosity (he lost two battles against Tilly), which was derived from his position as 'Administrator' of Halberstadt. He was a chivalrous champion of the Queen of Bohemia (he wore her glove, with the motto 'Pour Dieu et pour Elle', on his hat). He was a violent partisan of the Protestant cause in the Thirty Years War. He was wounded at Fleurus on 29 August 1622; a few days later his arm was amputated. His defeat at Stadtlohn on 6 August 1623 was a disaster for the King of Bohemia's cause. After a brief interlude seeking support from James I in England in 1624/5: he was awarded the Garter in 1624, he died of disease, a broken man, after a failed expedition into Hesse in 1626.


No doubt one of the collection of portraits belonging to Elizabeth of Bohemia, and bequeathed by her to the Earl of Craven; thence by descent, until before the sale at Sotheby's, 27 November 1968, bought by the Ministry of Works for Ashdown House.

Marks and inscriptions

Recto: Indistinctly signed and inscribed "AEtatis....".
Recto: Brass Label: no. 316 (= Combe Abbey cat.: 1866 as: Christian Duke of Brunswick, M. Mirevel; later cat: 'Mierevelt, armour, embroidered crimson scarf').

Makers and roles

Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt (Delft 1567 – Delft 1641), artist

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Giltwood (3926)
Paint (30414)
Wood (128433)
Category Art / Oil paintings (12632)
Collection Ashdown House, Berkshire (106)
Periods 17th century (33416)
Maker Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt (Delft 1567 – Delft 1641) (31)
Subjects Christian, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1599-1626) (2)
Object Type Oil painting (14421)

Record Status


© National Trust Images © National Trust Collections Registered Charity No. 205846

Welcome to National Trust Collections. Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website. If you are planning a visit to see particular items in a National Trust Collection, please check information with the relevant Property first.