French School 1637
This portrait appears to have been painted in 1637, when Charles successfully defeated the Spanish force which threatened to invade Languedoc from Catalonia (the Battle of Leucate)...
Charles Schomberg was German-born but rose to high status, arriving in France under Charles IX, growing up at court as enfant d’honneur of Louis XVIII. His father, Henri de Schomberg, also a Marshal of France, had died just after commanding the royal army which defeated Montmorency. By all accounts, Charles was gallant, educated and popular, particularly with the Languedocians (he even learned their language and was able to communicate with the locals).
This portrait appears to have been painted in 1637, when Charles successfully defeated the Spanish force which threatened to invade Languedoc from Catalonia (the Battle of Leucate). Having successfully defened this territory, hopes were high that Charles might force the Spanish army to retreat further by invading Roussillon, but he refused to participate, correctly assuming that this would be at his own expense. Charles went on to further positions of civilian and military authority, becoming the Governor of Metz and of the Trois-Évêchês between 1644 and his death in 1656. He was also Colonel-general of the Cent-Suisses et Grisons between 1647-56.
Charles’s first wife was Anne, Duchess d’Halluin, from whom he received his title. Anne was unusual in divorcing her husband Henry de Nogaret de La Valette (who also kept his title after the end of the marriage). Anne died in 1641 and in 1646 Charles remarried with Marie de Hautefort (1616-1691), an important figure at court being both lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne of Austria and the former favourite of King Louis XIII. The couple moved to the Citadel of Metz in 1652.
The careful painting of this seventeenth century portrait recalls the technique of Alexander Cooper (1609-1660), brother of Samuel Cooper and most likely the pupil of Peter Oliver. Alexander appears to have worked largely abroad, particularly in Sweden and Denmark and used clear, bright colours in a studied manner.