A series of portraits of the Solís twins we worked on, inspired by the Mancinis... Ortensia Mancini was born in Rome in 1646, the fourth of the five celebrated Mancini Sisters, daughters of the sister of Cardinal Mazarin, the chief advisor of the young King Louis XIV of France and reputed lover of his mother, Anne of Austria. After their father’s death in 1650, the Mancini girls were brought to France by their mother, who hoped that her brother would help find rich and titled husbands for her brood of girls: Laure, Olympe, Marie, Marie Anne and Ortensia, who obligingly became Hortense as soon as her exquisitely silk shod feet set foot on French soil. Along with their two cousins, Laura and Anne Marie Martinozzi, the five Mancini girls were to become the talk of Paris thanks to their sumptuous dark haired, olive skinned beauty and wild, flamboyant manners. The young Hortense, her uncle’s favourite niece was the most badly behaved of them all as she grew up into a bold eyed beauty, who was absolutely impossible to resist. Madame Mancini’s ambitions were not to be disappointed as one by one her daughters married into the oldest families in France, attracting aristocratic husbands with their winning combination of good looks, family connections and enormous dowries, which were provided by their doting uncle. For a brief while it looked as though the loveliest of the girls, Marie would end up married to Louis XIV himself – she was his first ever love and he even bought the exiled English Queen Henrietta Maria’s pearls for her as a present, but it was not to be and instead she was packed off back to Italy to marry the Prince of Colonna. Then, in 1659, it was Hortense’s turn to have a brush with a royal engagement when the exiled and impoverished Charles II asked her uncle for her lovely hand in marriage, hoping that a combination of her wealth and family connections could be the answer to a lot of his problems, which were numerous and seemingly unsurmountable. Alas for Hortense, his proposal was swiftly turned down. But in a way she was to have the last laugh in the end...
Models @jacosolis & @nicosolis
Shot at @BlockedStudio