The theme for this week’s #TudorTuesdays with Historic Houses is Mary Queen of Scots.
Hever Castle was excited to unveil a rare portrait of Mary Queen of Scots on 8 February 2019 – 432 years after she died on the same date in 1587.
Paintings of Mary created during her lifetime are few and far between.
Hever Castle’s portrait was rediscovered in France, where it was unidentified and thought to date from the 17th century. However, dendrochronological examination of the oak panel on which the portrait is painted, revealed that it was created after 1547 (Mary was born in December 1542).
The work is believed to come from the studio of François Clouet (c.1510 –1572), a French Renaissance miniaturist and painter, particularly known for his detailed portraits of the French ruling family.
The discovery of this contemporary likeness of Mary Queen of Scots is particularly important as there are only two portraits of her in mourning – the second one (in full mourning) is in the Royal Collection.
The Hever work shows Mary in a form of mourning, but not the full mourning seen in earlier portraits.
It was around this period that the famous ‘en deuil blanc’ (in white mourning) type of portrait became popular. This was a less strict form of mourning, which might have been worn at a later date following a bereavement. It is thought that Mary wearing ‘en deuil blanc’ was occasioned by the death of three close members of her family within eighteen months: her father-in-law Henri II (July 1559), her mother Mary of Guise (June, 1560) and then her husband, François II (December 1560).
Visitors can see the portrait on display in the Staircase Gallery of the Castle.
If you enjoyed this item on Mary Queen of Scots why not discover the previous #TudorTuesdays news items:
• Jewels and Jewellery
• Foreign influences
• Water features
• Orchards, topiary and mazes
• Great Halls
• Book and libraries
• Films and TV sets
• Elizabeth I
• Tudor Chapels
• Tudor Windows
• Tudor Tapestries
• Tudor Chimneys
• Tudor Panelling
• Tudor Knot Gardens
• Tudor Childhood
• Tudor Dining Rooms
• Tudor Rose Gardens
• Henry VII
• Henry VIII
• Mary I