This immersive digital experience draws viewers into Dutch artist Gerrit van Honthorst's 1636 masterpiece, "Triumph of the Winter Queen: Allegory of the Just," a monumental portrait inspired by the turbulent lives of Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V, once the King and Queen of Bohemia.
From love to war to exile to death, the story of Frederick V and Elizabeth Stuart, known as the Winter King and Queen, is one of history's most engaging. Ousted from the Bohemian throne after a mere season in power, the pair fled to the Netherlands with their 13 children where fate dealt them one difficult hand after another. Commissioned by Stuart after the untimely death of her husband and 3 of their children, Gerrit van Honthorst's "Triumph of the Winter Queen: Allegory of the Just," is more than just a painting. It is a statement made by a royal family living in exile. It is a reflection of how Elizabeth of Bohemia perceived herself and wanted to be perceived by others. It is a record of a family's triumphs and tragedies and an illustration of how its matriarch envisioned the future.
Together with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Second Story created a digital presentation that immerses viewers in the allegorical portrait. Displayed on two 12’ glass panels flanking the painting, it is enhanced by a custom lighting program that highlights details of the painting that might be otherwise overlooked. The film's narration contextualizes the work, sharing the rich history of Stuart and her family while also explaining the significance of the symbols Honthorst depicts. Visitors to the gallery leave with an enriched knowledge of the Winter Queen, her family, and the world in which she lived.