About this artwork

There has been much argument as to whether the man in this wood engraving is John Knox. However, it has repeatedly been used as a model for later statues and history paintings. Knox began his career as a Roman Catholic priest, but after encountering the Protestant preacher, George Wishart, he became an convert to the reformed religion. By the time Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland in 1561, he was a minister of St Giles in Edinburgh and he went on to have several famous confrontations with her. The celebration of Mass in Holyrood Chapel for Mary and her Catholic courtiers particularly angered him.

Updated before 2020

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