portrait of queen mary i manner of guillim scrots

Portrait of Queen Mary I, Manner of Guillim Scrots.


Price

SOLD

Item Number

8896

Description

Oil on oak panel in an elaborate carved and giltwood frame.
Created c.1800 this is a superb portrait convincingly painted in the Tudor manner.
Verso, an old handwritten label "Anne Boleyn, (after) Holbein".
In fact this is a portrait of Mary Tudor, later Queen Mary I, as a young woman.
Mary was noted for her fierce Catholic faith, and in this portrait can be clearly seen symbols of that faith; a bible, a jewelled cross and a jewel showing St. Veronica holding the cloth with the image of Christ upon it.
The unknown artist of this lovely painting has been directly influenced by Guillim Scrot's portrait of the young Elizabeth I in the Royal Collection at Windsor castle. Also the placement and composition of the hands in the portrait of Catherine Parr in the Melton Constable portrait (formerly mistakenly called Lady Jane Grey) seem to have been utilised in reverse.
MARY TUDOR was the first Queen Regnant (that is, a queen reigning in her own right rather than a queen through marriage to a king). Courageous and stubborn, her character was moulded by her early years.
In his political and marital manoeuvrings her father Henry VIII instituted an Act of Parliament in 1533 which declared her illegitimate and removed her from the succession to the throne (she was reinstated in 1544, but her half-brother Edward removed her from the succession once more shortly before his death), whilst she was pressurised to give up the Mass and acknowledge the English Protestant Church.
On her succession Mary restored papal supremacy in England, abandoned the title of Supreme Head of the Church, reintroduced Roman Catholic bishops and began the slow reintroduction of monastic orders.
Mary also revived the old heresy laws to secure the religious conversion of the country; heresy was regarded as a religious and civil offence amounting to treason.
As a result, around 300 Protestant heretics were burnt in three years.
Apart from making Mary deeply unpopular, such treatment demonstrated that people were prepared to die for the Protestant settlement established in Henry's reign.
The progress of Mary's conversion of the country was also limited by the vested interests of the aristocracy and gentry who had bought the monastic lands sold off after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and who refused to return these possessions voluntarily as Mary invited them to do.
Aged 37 at her accession, Mary wished to marry and have children, thus leaving a Catholic heir to consolidate her religious reforms, and removing her half-sister Elizabeth (a focus for Protestant opposition) from direct succession.
Mary's decision to marry Philip, King of Spain in 1554 was very unpopular.
The marriage was childless, Philip spent most of it on the continent, England obtained no share in the Spanish monopolies in New World trade and the alliance with Spain dragged England into a war with France.
Popular discontent grew when Calais, the last vestige of England's possessions in France dating from William the Conqueror's time, was captured by the French in 1558.
Dogged by ill health, Mary died later that year, possibly from cancer, leaving the crown to her half-sister Elizabeth.
GUILLIM SCROTS (Guillim Stretes or William Scrots) (active 1537-1553).
Nothing is known of his early life, training or parentage, but in 1537 William Scrots was appointed painter to Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands. In 1545, he went to England to take up a position as a painter at the court of Henry VIII, where he was the highest paid artist of the time.
SIZE: Panel 25.25 x 19 inches.
Frame 44.25 x 28.5 inches.
PROVENANCE:From the old collection of an ancient noble Scottish family.
Internal Ref: 8896



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