Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena
by William Wissing
oil on canvas, circa 1685
48 in. x 38 1/2 in. (1220 mm x 978 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Mary of Modena (1658-1718), Queen of James II. Sitter associated with 54 portraits.
Artistback to top
- William Wissing (1656-1687), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 147 portraits, Sitter associated with 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The only daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena, and a devout Roman Catholic, Mary intended to enter a convent until her marriage with James, Duke of York, (later James II), in 1673. This is one of a series of informal paintings that were based on the sittings by the royal couple for their coronation portraits. In the portrait Mary's left hand rests on a small dog which looks like an Italian greyhound, a reference to her homeland. The turn of the dog's head away from his mistress may be a device to suggest that his master is nearby.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gibson, Robin, The Face in the Corner: Animal Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998, p. 33
- Ingamells, John, Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 2009, p. 177
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 417
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 123
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 121
Exhibitions and displays
- Treason, Plots and Murder
From 26 May
See this portrait
On display in Room 8 at the National Portrait Gallery