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.

Arnold Bronckorst

Arnold Bronckorst

Arnold Bronckorst is believed to have started his career in England in association with the miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard. It seems that Hilliard sent Bronckorst to Scotland around 1578 to procure gold for their work. Bronckorst was not allowed to export the gold and was instead employed by James VI's uncle, the Earl of Morton, to paint portraits of the boy-king and his courtiers. In 1581 he was appointed painter to the king and given a yearly pension of £100. By 1583 Bronckorst was back in London, where he was described as a 'Dutch painter', but no works by him are known from this period.