RÉVOIL, Pierre
(b. 1776, Lyon, d. 1842, Lyon)

Mary, Queen of Scots, Separated from Her Faithfuls

Oil on canvas, 57 x 70 cm
Private collection

Mary Stuart's tragic life and courageous death held a particular fascination for educated French society during the Bourbon Restoration. Her devotion to her Catholic faith and a series of unwise alliances resulted in her imprisonment, and, ultimately, execution in 1587 on the orders of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. The poignant history and romantic drama of Mary's life and death were utilized to recall the execution of another Queen, Marie-Antoinette, who for the old aristocracy and members of the Bourbon court had become a symbol of royal martyrdom.

Révoil's painting depicts the moment when Mary is being taken to the place of execution and separated from the faithful followers who had shared her imprisonment.