Friday, May 12, 2006

Question from Tracey - Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots

I am looking for information regarding a specific portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots. This portrait shows Mary herself on one side, but then when the portrait is 'shifted', a skull emerges...I believe over her face.

Where is this located? Who painted it? Is it ever on display?



Lara said...

I did a quick search through the Bridgeman Art Library's catalog and I think I found the one you're referring to. Here's their site: I searched on "Mary Queen of Scots" and is showed up part way down the first page. It is at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. I was there about 6 years ago, and I honestly can't remember if it was on display or not. I thought we saw it, but I just can't be sure if it was in person or I've seen it in a book and that's what I'm thinking of.

BTW, there are some other cool anamorphosis paintings from the era, including on of Edward VI that you have to look at from the right to see it properly (it's at the NPG in London) and a skull at the bottom of Hobein's "The Ambassadors" at the National Gallery in London.

BritishNut56 said...

Thank you, Lara! For those who are interested in seeing this (altho there is no firm evidence that the lady portrayed is Mary), visit the link provided and, where I found it, was on page 3, about halfway down.

I've seen the Holbein portrait...wonderful! Didn't know about the Edward VI anamorphosis, however.