A volume housed in the Archives of the Principality of Monaco contains drafts of letters written in 1630 by Honoré II to various individuals, revealing his lively collecting activity, especially as regards landscape and still-life paintings, mostly Flemish. His privileged correspondents were Jan Roos and Cornelis de Wael, who were then active in Genoa, and from whom he commissioned numerous paintings, also on the occasion of their visits to Monaco in November 1629 (de Wael) and February-March 1630 (Roos). In addition the letters reveal the Prince’s appreciation for two of the major painters in Genoa, Domenico Fiasella and Luciano Borzone, who were repeatedly asked to work for him. His interests spread beyond Liguria, reaching artists in Milan, Rome, Naples, Florence, Flanders and Spain. In Madrid he commissioned the portraits of the Spanish Royals; from Rome he received the portrait of Cardinal Teodoro Trivulzio, his brother-in-law, as well as various paintings by the Neapolitan Domenico Viola, who was then in the circle of the Bamboccianti. His writing reveals a very defined taste, expressed through clear judgements on the quality of paintings and precise requests to artists regarding subject, material and format.
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