About this artwork

This portrait shows Henry Stuart, better known as Lord Darnley, aged about nine years old. He is already a handsome boy, fashionably dressed in a dark doublet trimmed with gold ornaments and wearing a sword at his side. Having direct family ties to both Scottish and English kings, Darnley was brought up conscious of his status and was educated in all the courtly manners. In 1565 he married his cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. Although the match seemed politically smart, it soon became apparent that Darnley was too immature to cope with his position. A product of his parents' ambition, he was selfish, vain and unreliable. Jealous of his wife's secretary, David Riccio, he was involved in his brutal murder in 1566. The following year, he himself was murdered at Kirk o'Field in Edinburgh.

Hans Eworth

Hans Eworth

Hans Eworth was trained in Antwerp and was working in England by 1545. He was the principal court painter during the reign of Mary I. His style was influended by the work of Hans Holbein, who had been in the service of Mary's father, Henry VIII, and his highly detailed portraits have an enamelled quality. After Mary's death in 1558, Eworth was initially out of favour, and worked for the leading Catholic families away from the court. At the end of his life he was employed by the Office of Revels, designing costumes and d�r for Queen Elizabeth's pageants and receptions.