Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Mary Tudor, Queen Mary I (1516-58) , 1550s

 English School 

Portrait of Mary Tudor, Queen Mary I (1516-58),  English School
Oil on Panel
16th Century
27 x 17 1/2 inches 68.6 x 44.5 cm
By descent through the family of the Earl Carlisle, M.C., Naworth Castle, Cumbria
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This portrait derives from the work of Hans Eworth who worked as a portrait and history painter. He came from a family of painters based in Antwerp and came to England in about 1545. His early English portraits are in a typically Dutch style but in England he was influenced by both Holbein and Mor and his later works foreshadow the Elizabethan ''costume piece''. His work has a very enamelled finish and although it is not documented, it is likely that he was the Official Painter to Queen Mary I. He was the most distinguished painter in England after Holbein''s death, until the emergence of Hilliard.

Mary I was the eldest surviving child of Henry VIII (by Catherine of Aragon), the elder sister of both Edward VI and Elizabeth I. She became the first Queen regnant on her brothers death in 1553. Religious devotion to the Catholic faith was the central feature of Mary''s life, giving rise to her marriage to Philip of Spain and the persecution of her protestant subjects. Owing mainly to her persecution of the protestants, her personal character was much maligned. She was succeeded by Elizabeth I.
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