By Marijke Holtrop
The portrait gallery of Brielle Historical Museum contains a portrait of the Swedish Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). The portrait was painted on canvas by Justus van Egmond (1601-1674). The Queen is depicted as Diana, the goddess of hunting.

Christina was the daughter of the Swedish King Gustav Adolph of the house of Vasa and Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. When her father died in 1632, Princess Christina was much too young to be involved in government affairs. But from 1644 she participated in the decision-making about all government issues. Christina was crowned Queen in 1650. Because she refused to marry she was forced to abdicate in 1654 in favour of her nephew Charles X Gustav.

In 1654 Christina spent some time in Antwerp at the court of Archduke Leopold. Leopold lent her his court artist Justus van Egmond, a pupil of Rubens. Van Egmond painted five portraits of Christina: three as the goddess Minerva, and two as Diana, the goddess of hunting. The painting shows Diana’s customary attributes: a hunting spear, a hunting dog, a hunting estate as the backdrop. The laurel wreath in Christina’s hand is probably a reference to the droit divin, the divine right that she - in her eyes - still possessed, even though she now longer had a country to rule.

The painting was acquired in the 18th century by the Brielle merchant Hendrick van Kruyne, who was also the owner and occupant of the Het Gecroonde Hart Brewery at Scharloo 9. He displayed the painting in his house over the fireplace. After the some time the painting literally disappeared behind wallpaper. During rebuilding work the painting was discovered and removed from behind the wallpaper. Mr and Mrs Spoon, the owners of property at the time, donated the painting to the museum in 1966.