Mary, Queen of Scots
1 portrait by Nicholas Hilliard
Mary, Queen of Scots
after Nicholas Hilliard
oil on panel, inscribed 1578
31 1/8 in. x 35 1/2 in. (791 mm x 902 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), Reigned 1542-67. Sitter associated with 149 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 34 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait, which was once in the Royal Collection, is probably based on an image from the life. The Latin inscription records that she has been a prisoner for ten years. The cross attached to her rosary bears the letter 'S' (possibly for Stewart) on each of its arms. At its centre is an enamelled scene of Susannah and the Elders surrounded by a Latin motto which can be translated as 'troubles on all sides'. Although this portrait was once thought to be later, recent analysis of the panel support has dated the wood to the mid-sixteenth century, indicating that it was made during her lifetime.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Tudor Portraits Resource Pack, p. 28
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 27
- Audio Guide
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 129
- Clare Gittings, The National Portrait Gallery Book of Elizabeth I, 2006, p. 13
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 12
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 21
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 21
- MacLeod, Catharine, Tudor Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 28
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 417
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 215
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 60
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 101
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 104
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1578back to top
Current affairsThe heir to the French crown, François, Duke of Anjou visits England to court Queen Elizabeth I. Public opinion is against a marriage due to his nationality and Catholic faith.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert receives letters patent that entitle him to explore and colonise 'remote heathen and barbarous landes' on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I.
King James VI of Scotland assumes personal control of the realm, without the aid of a regent, aged eleven.
Art and scienceThe writer and playwright John Lyly publishes Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit: Very Pleasant for All Gentlemen to Read, one of the most popular books of the period.
InternationalDeath of Don John of Austria, Governor of the Netherlands. He is succeeded by Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Palma.
The Battle of Wenden - Sweden defeats Russia, marking a turning point in the Livonian War.
Sebastian I of Portugal leads a disastrous crusade against the Moors in northern Africa. He is defeated and killed at the Battle of Alcácazarquivir.
See this portrait
On display in Room 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer