Mary II, 1662 - 1694. Reigned jointly with William III, 1688 - 1694
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Mary II, 1662 - 1694. Reigned jointly with William III, 1688 - 1694 After 1677

On Display PORTRAIT GALLERY

  • Scottish Art
Mary II was the eldest daughter of the future James VII and II and his first wife, Anne Hyde. This beautiful mezzotint by Abraham Blooteling was printed after her marriage to William of Orange in 1677, as it includes her title as Princess of Orange inscribed in Latin. Lely’s portrait, which this print is a reproduction of, was painted around the time of her marriage and shows her sitting in a landscape, holding a posy of flowers. The scalloped hem of her sleeve, just visible on the right-hand side, is more obvious in the painted portrait and would indicate to a contemporary audience that Mary was playing a pastoral role, such as a shepherdess or nymph. These roles were made fashionable from popular plays and masques, and deemed suitable for the depiction of young brides in portraits.

Glossary Open

Mezzotint

Mezzotint is a method of producing prints that was developed in the seventeenth century. A metal printing plate is roughened by scratching a tool across the surface to leave an even burr. When ink is applied to the plate, the burr holds it, and if a sheet in this state is printed at this stage, the resulting impression is entirely black. An image is created by smoothing parts of the abraded surface so that when ink is applied, the smoother areas do not have such a strong ink-holding capacity, and therefore do no leave such a dark impression. A mezzotint printmaker, therefore, works from dark to create light. Mezzotint produces high quality prints, as it allows for fine and subtle tones to be developed.

Pastoral

A landscape painting in which the countryside is represented as an idyllic place, peopled by shepherds and shepherdesses or mythological figures.

Print

An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Mezzotint, Pastoral, Print

Details

  • Acc. No. SP II 68.27
  • Medium Mezzotint on paper
  • Size 29.21 x 24.13 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1948