The picture is of considerable Scottish interest, representing one of the most important events in the history of the House of Stuart in exile.

Prince James Francis Edward Stuart was son of King James II of England. His birth in 1688, ensuring a Catholic heir to the English throne, led to the 'Bloodless Revolution' of that year, and he spent his life in exile except for a short period when he landed in Scotland to lead the unsuccessful Jacobite rising of 1715. He married the highly eligible Maria Clementina Sobieska four years later, niece of the Dowager Empress, a grand-daughter of King John of Poland, a god-daughter of the Pope, with a very large dowry. The picture therefore celebrates not only a royal marriage but the successful outcome of a political manoeuvre.

Provenance

Prince James Stuart; Henry, Cardinal York, Rome; Bonaventura family, Urbino; by descent to Olympia & Ottavia Bonaventura; 8th Earl of Northesk; Baron Meyer de Rothschild; by descent to the 6th earl of Rosebery, sold Sotheby's at Mentmore, 25 May 1977


Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Exhibitions at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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