About this artwork

When James III was killed at Sauchieburn, his fifteen-year-old son James IV succeeded him. He had been the rebels’ assumed figurehead, and for his indirect role in his father’s death James decided to wear a heavy iron belt for the rest of his life. A highly intelligent man, James IV proved an effective ruler. He spoke many languages and took an interest in literature, science and law. Determined to establish strong central leadership he suppressed the Lordship of the Isles and created a powerful navy. In 1503 he married the English king’s daughter, Margaret Tudor, in an attempt to create peace between the two countries. However, when England invaded France, James felt obliged to assist his old ally. He confronted the English army in 1513 but was killed in the disastrous battle of Flodden.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    James IV, 1473 - 1513. Reigned 1488 - 1513
  • date created:
    About 1579
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • measurements:
    41.20 x 33.00 cm; Framed: 61.00 x 52.90 x 7.10 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1909
  • accession number:
    PG 685
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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