Scene from the Life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary Led through the Streets of Edinburgh after the Battle of Carberry Hill
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Scene from the Life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary Led through the Streets of Edinburgh after the Battle of Carberry Hill c 1790
  • Scottish Art
This wash drawing is one of David Allan’s sketches for a series of large-scale history paintings, most of which were never executed. Mistakenly inscribed ‘Queen Mary surrenders at Pinkie’, this drawing shows Mary’s return to Edinburgh after her surrender at Carberry Hill. Essentially a prisoner of the Confederate Lords, she was taken to the Provost’s residence on High Street. An angry and excited mob eagerly awaited her arrival, shouting abuse and accusing her of murder. The rebel Lords’ propaganda had clearly worked. To the left, their banner shows an image of the young Prince James and his murdered father, Lord Darnley. The writing: ‘Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord’, implied that the Lords were acting in the prince’s interest by avenging Darnley’s death.

Glossary Open

History painting

Paintings in which the subject is taken from biblical, classical or other mythological histories.

Inscription

Text written on a book, document or artwork. Examples include the added information such as edition number and date on a print, or a dedication written in a book.

Wash

A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.

History painting, Inscription, Wash

Details

  • Acc. No. D 4592
  • Medium Pen, grey ink and brown wash over traces of grey and black chalk in a grey ink ruled border on paper
  • Size 15.80 x 20.90 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1951