Queen Mary I

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Queen Mary I

by Master John
oil on panel, 1544
28 in. x 20 in. (711 mm x 508 mm)
Purchased, 1876
Primary Collection
NPG 428

On display in Room 1 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

  • Queen Mary I (1516-1558), Reigned 1553-58; daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Sitter associated with 50 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Master John (active 1544-1545), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

It is probable that this portrait is one for which five pounds was paid in November 1544. Contemporary accounts list 'one John that drew her grace in a table' (a wooden panel) at this date.

Linked publicationsback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1544back to top

Current affairs

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I) is restored to the line of succession.
King Henry VIII joins English troops at Calais as part of an Anglo-Imperial offensive against France. He besieges and captures Boulogne.

Art and science

The German physician and mineralogist Georg Agricola publishes De Ortu et Causis Subterraneorum (On Underground Origins and Causes), which lays the foundation for the study of physical geology.


Four days after King Henry VIII's capture of Boulogne, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V breaks his alliance with England and signs a peace treaty with Francis I of France. Henry VIII continues to wage war against France alone.

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Sylvia Ragis

19 December 2018, 06:54

Mary is very carefully not wearing or holding any visible signs of religious afiliation.