Monument toMaria Clementina Sobieska (1739-42) by Filippo Barigioni & Pietro Bracci
The monument to Maria Sobieska was designed by Filippo Barigoni (1690-1753) with sculptures by Pietro Bracci (1700-73).
Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702-35) was the third and final woman to be honoured with a monument in St Peter's Basilica. She was married to James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales, the son of James II of England, who was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Maria was the granddaughter of Jan III Sobieski of Poland, the king who had driven the Turks from the gates of Vienna in 1683.
Her portrait is held up by a personification of Charity, who raises a flaming heart with the other hand. At the base of the monument are two putti, one bearing a golden sceptre, the other a gold crown. At their feet is a wreath bearing the date of Maria's early death.
The inscription reads: MARIA CLEMENTINA M BRITAN FRANC HIBERN REGINA (Maria Clementina, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland). The claim of the English monarchs to the throne of France dated back to the reign of King Edward III (r. 1327-77); it was finally renounced by King George III in 1801.
Maria Sobieska looks across at the monument to her husband and two sons, the last members of the Stuart dynasty.