"Portrait Of Mary Queen Of Scots, British 18th Century, After Federico Zuccaro (c.1540–1609)"
Mary, Queen of Scots was one of the most fascinating and controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe. At one time, she claimed the crowns of four nations – Scotland, France, England and Ireland. Her physical beauty and kind heart were acknowledged even by her enemies. Yet she lacked the political skill and intuition to rule successfully in Scotland and was embroiled in marriages that ended in murder and scandal. She fled to England in 1568, hoping for the help of her cousin, Elizabeth I. Her presence was dangerous for the English queen, who feared Catholic plotting on Mary’s behalf. The two queens never met and Mary remained imprisoned for the next nineteen years. She was executed in 1587, only forty-four years old, by orders of the English government and all of her possessions were burned. In 1603, upon Elizabeth’s death, Mary’s son became king of England as James I and in 1612 he moved her body to a magnificent tomb in Westminster Abbey, London.
The handling of the paint in this 18th century work is very good throughout and the fabric has been meticulously portrayed. The artist of this portrait was familiar with and took inspiration from another portrait of the sitter that was traditionally believed to be the hand of Federico Zuccaro (former collection of the Earl of Burlington). They both depict the same elaborate costume and the high ruff, embroidered gown with high collar, and jewelled bodice. Zuccaro’s portrait shows the subject standing in an interior holding a flower in her left hand and with her right placed on the arm of a chair and a landscape and town visible through a window. The image of this infamous character was widely replicated and distributed as a means to further her cause, and later, for romantic purposes.
Held in a superb 18th 19th century carved frame.
Provenance: Sibton Park, Suffolk, England which is a large stately manor dating to 1827 and is set in the grounds of a 5,000 acre estate. See photos.
Measurements: Height 78cm, Width 64cm framed (Height 30.5”, Width 25” framed)