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  • Otto Bache
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, c 1535 - 1578. Third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots (Study of mummified head)
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James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, c 1535 - 1578. Third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots (Study of mummified head) 1861
  • Scottish Art
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, is a notorious figure in Scottish history. He is most associated with the murder of Mary, Queen of Scots’, second husband, Lord Darnley. Then abducting Mary, raping her and forcing her hand in marriage. As a result of the Scottish nobility’s outrage over these claims Bothwell fled to Denmark, where he was arrested and imprisoned in Malmö Castle. Bothwell was reported to have been kept prisoner in the dark, tied to a post half his height so he could not stand. He died ten years later. He was buried at Faarevejle, but it was discovered that the sea air had preserved his body. His body was exhumed several times and displayed in an open casket at Frederiksborg Museum in Copenhagen. This rather gruesome painting depicts the head of Bothwell’s mummified body.

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 3568
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 28.70 x 27.30 cm (framed 31.20 x 29.50 x 2.40 cm)
  • Credit Gifted by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2009