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Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots

Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots, by John Simon, after  Unknown artist, 1715-1720 - NPG D13130 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots

by John Simon, after Unknown artist
mezzotint, 1715-1720
14 1/8 in. x 10 1/8 in. (358 mm x 256 mm) plate size; 14 5/8 in. x 10 5/8 in. (372 mm x 271 mm) paper size
Reference Collection
NPG D13130

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • John Simon (1675-1751), Mezzotint engraver. Artist associated with 213 portraits.
  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist associated with 6575 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In the late seventeenth century the 4th Duke of Hamilton discovered a portrait miniature he believed to be by Isaac Oliver and of Mary, Queen of Scots. He had it restored by a contemporary miniaturist, whom he ordered to 'make it as beautifull as he coud… still in a roundish face', as the antiquarian George Vertue recorded. The restored miniature was copied many times in paintings, other miniatures and prints. This print is one of the earliest of those reproductions. The woman in the portrait wears a costume of the mid sixteenth century, but comparison with genuine portraits of the Queen make it clear that, with her 'roundish' face, she is not Mary.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D25081: Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots (from same plate)
  • NPG D42340: Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots (from same plate)
  • NPG D42339: Unknown sitter, called Mary, Queen of Scots (from same plate)

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1715back to top

Current affairs

Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke flees to Paris - following his part in secret negotiations around the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 - where he becomes foreign minister to the Pretender, James Stuart. First Jacobite Rebellion begins in Scotland against the rule of George I. The Pretender arrives from France.
Total solar eclipse is seen across southern England; the last total eclipse visible in London for almost 900 years.

Art and science

Artist Jonathan Richardson publishes The Theory of Painting, credited with being the first significant work of artistic theory in English.
Poet Alexander Pope begins his acclaimed translation of Homer's Illiad Architect Colen Campbell creates interest in the Palladian style in Britain with the publication of his Vitruvius Britannicus.


Louis XIV of France dies after seventy-two years on the throne. He is succeeded by his five-year old grandson, Louis XV.
British build a permanent factory in Canton, China.

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