Rare, dark mural of Mary, Queen of Scots revealed

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EDINBURGH (Reuters) – A rare, unprepared mural believed to be of Mary, Queen of Scots has been found underneath another 16th-century portrayal after an X-ray suggested a resounding correspondence of a executed queen.

A lady with graphic similarities to near-contemporary depictions of Mary was suggested during an hearing of a mural of Sir John Maitland, attributed to Adrian Vanson, a Dutchman who was justice painter to Mary’s son King James VI of Scotland (James we of England).

The X-ray showed a figure of a woman’s face and a outline of her dress and shawl underneath a top layers of paint in a poise and a correspondence identical to those of a black during a time.

Mary was forced to surrender in 1567 after she was concerned in her husband’s murder and was afterwards detained in England by her cousin Elizabeth we from 1568 and executed in 1587.

The portrayal customarily hangs in a National Trust’s Ham House southwest of London.

“Vanson’s mural of Sir John Maitland is an critical design in a National Trust collection, and a conspicuous find of a unprepared mural of Mary, Queen of Scots adds an sparkling dark dimension to it,” pronounced David Taylor, Curator of Pictures and Sculpture during a National Trust.

“It shows that portraits of a black were being copied and presumably displayed in Scotland around a time of her execution, a rarely quarrelsome and potentially dangerous thing to be seen doing,” he added.

The mural and X-ray images will be on arrangement during a Scottish National Portrait Gallery from Saturday.

Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; modifying by Stephen Addison

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