(b. 1516/19, Utrecht, d. 1576/77, Antwerpen)

Queen Mary Tudor of England

Oil on panel, 109 x 84 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The painting represents Mary Tudor, the bride of Philip II, King of Spain. This is the masterpiece of the artist, painted in England.

Philip II and Mor became acquainted during the prince's visit to the Netherlands in the early 1550s. In 1554, when Philip went to London for his marriage to Mary Tudor, he brought Mor to paint the queen's portrait, a representative work that reveals the essence of his style. In keeping with the prevailing manner of court portraiture, Mor is concerned with physiognomic accuracy but not with expression. This is a reticent image that emphasizes the social distinction of the sitter instead of her personality, although it is subtly encoded with a complex set of allusions. However, the austerity is somewhat relieved by the attention paid to the costume and jewelry, which are rendered with a technique of dazzling exactitude.