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Mary, Queen of Scots

2 of 151 portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mary, Queen of Scots

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1560-1592
9 7/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (251 mm x 191 mm)
Purchased, 1916
Primary Collection
NPG 1766

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6583 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots has recently been rediscovered as an image painted within her lifetime or very shortly after her death. The painting had long been considered to date from the eighteenth century, but recent tree ring analysis (known as dendrochronology) has established that the panel was felled in the sixteenth century. The work can now be dated to 1560 -1592. Recent conservation work has also revealed an original oval background with a marbling effect, which had previously been overpainted with dark brown paint.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Bolland, Charlotte, The Tudors Passion, Power and Politics, 2022, p. 82
  • Cooper, Tarnya, Elizabeth I & Her People, 2013 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014), p. 208
  • Cooper, Tarnya (introduction) Banville, John (character sketch) Chevalier, Tracy (character sketch) Fellowes, Julian (character sketch) McCall Smith, Alexander (character sketch) Pratchett, Terry (character sketch) Singleton, Sarah (character sketch) Trollope, Joanna (character sketch) Waters, Minette (character sketch), Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from December 2011 - June 2012), p. 84
  • Gittings, Clare, The National Portrait Gallery Book of The Tudors, 2006, p. 21
  • Ross, Josephine, Jane Austen and her World, 2017, p. 36
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 416
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 214

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1560back to top

Current affairs

Treaty of Edinburgh between England, France and Scotland. France removes forces from Scotland and Mary, Queen of Scots abandons her claim to the English crown.
An independent Scottish Parliament is established in Edinburgh, which in turn establishes the Church of Scotland. Influenced by the Protestant reformer John Knox, the reformed church abolishes papal authority in Scotland.

Art and science

Publication of Jing P'Ing Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase) by Hsu Wei, the first socially realistic Chinese novel.

International

Death of Francis II of France. He is succeeded by his brother Charles IX with his mother, Catherine de Medici, as Regent. His widow, Mary, Queen of Scots, returns to Scotland the following year.
Akbar, Mughal Emperor of India, establishes a new capital at Agra.

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