Anamorphosis, called Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542 - 1587. Reigned 1542 - 1567.
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Anamorphosis, called Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542 - 1587. Reigned 1542 - 1567.

On Display PORTRAIT GALLERY

  • Scottish Art
This object is known as a type of anamorphic painting or a turning picture. The viewer is initially confronted by a distorted perspective caused by two images painted on alternate sides of vertical strips. The images - a young woman (previously thought to be Mary, Queen of Scots) and a skull - can only be seen in their true form from a single viewpoint. This suggests that the painting was probably created as a private momento mori – a reminder of death. The painting should be looked at from left to right to reveal the human head changing into a skull.

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 1989
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 33.00 x 24.80 cm (framed: 41.50 x 34.10 x 5.50 cm)
  • Credit Given by A.H. Mayor 1962