About this artwork

In 1805, this painting won a student prize for Shirreff while he was at the Trustees’ Academy. He chose an episode from the life of Mary, Queen of Scots which had been related by Gilbert Stuart in his influential ‘History of Scotland’ (1783). In a letter to his father the young artist wrote: "I have taken the point of time when Lord Seaton is receiving Mary from the boat, and young George Douglas handing her on and one of the attendants holding the horse that the Queen is to ride on. I am very pleased with it myself." By the early nineteenth century, Mary was a popular romantic heroine. William Lizars, one of Shirreff’s friends, engraved this painting after the young artist’s premature death.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Mary, Queen of Scots Escaping from Lochleven Castle
  • date created:
    1805
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    77.20 x 92.40 cm (framed: 86.80 x 102.50 x 6.20 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented by Mrs Fairgrieve 1963
  • accession number:
    NG 2255
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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William Craig Shirreff

William Craig Shirreff