August 16, 2006

Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots rediscovered

A painting of Mary Queen of Scots, one of only two thought to have been made in her lifetime, has been discovered - in the National Portrait Gallery's very own store. The portrait was bought for 50 by the gallery in 1916 at Christie's. But later it was written off as an 18th century fake and was left to gather dust.

One day, however, Tarnya Cooper, curator of 16th-century collections at the gallery, decided to take a second look at the work, her instinct telling her it could just be original. The work was x-rayed. Beneath a layer of ugly yellow varnish and a dull, dark background lay an oval device framing the face, painted to look like marble, and the words Maria Scotiae (Mary of Scotland). The overpainting is thought to date from the 18th century.

From the Guardian. Can't find anything on the National Portrait Gallery's website, but the BBC has an article with pictures before and after cleaning; a previous article notes:
Mary Queen of Scots' death mask, her sapphire ring and a casket worth 1.5m have gone on show in Edinburgh. . .

The items come from the stately home of Lennoxlove in East Lothian.

Posted by David on August 16, 2006 9:21 PM


She was an interesting person in an interesting time. (something like a curse, i believe)

Posted by: Sarah Author Profile Page on August 17, 2006 5:26 PM
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