About this artwork

Buchanan was born at Killearn in Stirlingshire in 1506. This portrait, painted within a year of his death, shows Buchanan as a great scholar. The inscription on the painting translates as: 'So were Buchanan's features and countenance. Seek his writings and the stars if you wish to know his mind.' He is best remembered now as one of the main adversaries of Mary, Queen of Scots. After the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley, Buchanan publicly accused her of luring her husband to her death. He became tutor to Mary's son, James VI, giving the child a rigorous classical education but also turning the boy against his mother.

Updated before 2020

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