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Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), aged 36

by or after Rowland Lockey (c.1565 – London 1616)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1578

Materials

Oil on panel

Measurements

1943 x 1130 mm (76 ½ x 44 ½ in)

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)

NT 1129104

Caption

This full-length portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots in a black dress, with a white cap and ruff, has become the iconic image of the queen and visual shorthand for what we imagine she looked like. It is one of a small number of portraits of a particular composition known as the 'Sheffield Portrait' to survive, so named because it was thought in the twentieth century to have come from a portrait painted when she was held by the Earl of Shrewsbury at either Sheffield Castle or Sheffield Manor.

Summary

Oil painting on panel, Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), aged 36, by or after Rowland Lockey (c.1565 – London 1616), ?1578. Inscribed in small black letters on table-stretcher [clearly a later addition]: P. OUDRY PINXİT and in yellow, top left: MARIA / D G / SCOTIÆ / PIISSIMA REGINA / FRANCIÆ DOWERIA / ANNO / ÆTATIS REGNI / 36 / ANGLICÆ CAPTIVÆ / 10 / S H.* / 1578 [* S H = Salvationis Hominum]. A full-length portrait, turned slightly to the left, standing, wearing a widow's black dress over a cream coloured chemise, white lace ruff and head-dress, her left hand at her side, her right resting on a table covered with a red cloth.

Provenance

Inventory of the contents of Hardwick Hall made in 1601 and attached to the will of Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1520-1608); by descent until, following the death of the 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895 - 1950), Hardwick Hall and its contents were accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death duties and transferred to the National Trust, in 1959.

Credit line

National Trust Collections (Hardwick Hall, The Devonshire Collection)

Marks and inscriptions

Maria/D G/Scotiae/Piissima Regina/Franciae Doweria/Anno/Aetatis Regni/36/Angliae Captivae/10/D G/1578

Makers and roles

by or after Rowland Lockey (c.1565 – London 1616), artist previously catalogued as by British (English) School, artist previously catalogued as possibly Rowland Lockey (c.1565 – London 1616), artist previously catalogued as after Nicholas Hilliard (Exeter c.1547 – London 1619), artist previously catalogued as follower of Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578), artist

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