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Mary Stuart (1542–1587), daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, became Queen of Scotland shortly after her birth and was betrothed to the future François II. She married in 1558, only to become a widow two years later, and returned to Scotland where in 1565 she married Henry, Earl of Darnley (d.1567), and then in 1567 James, Earl of Bothwell (marriage dissolved 1570). Her Catholicism and claim to the English throne brought her into conflict with Elizabeth I and led to her abdication, captivity and eventual execution. Mary is depicted in mourning dress; such images of mourning appear to have been popular and Clouet depicted other sitters in this manner. The dramatic simplicity of Mary’s image also accorded well with the later Romantic cult that grew around her memory.

The Wallace Collection





oil on oak panel


H 29 x W 25.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, 1815; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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