Antonis Mor and Workshop - Mary I, Queen of England, 1554

Antonis Mor and Workshop (Utrecht, Netherlands, 1512-1516 - about 1576, Antwerp, Beligum)

Mary Tudor, Queen of England, 1554

Oil on oak panel, 112 x 83 cm (44 1/8 x 32 11/16 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Several versions of this portrait type were commissioned by the Charles V (1500-1558), Holy Roman Emperor (1519-1556), and his son Philip II (1527-1598), King of Spain (1556-1598), from the artist Antonis Mor, on the occasion of Philip's marriage to the sitter Mary I of England (1516-1558), Queen of England and Ireland (1553-1558) and Queen of Spain (1556-1558), from mid November 1554-20 December 1554.
Collection of Mary I of England.
Gift from Mary I of England to Sir Henry Jerningham (1509/10-1572), whom she made Captain of the Queen's Guard, Vice Chamberlain, and Master of the Household and to whom she gave Costessy Hall, Norfolk (where the painting was installed), in honor of his service to her, about 1557.
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Jerningham to Sir Henry Jerningham (d. 1619), 1st Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1571/2.
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Jerningham, 1st Baronet of Costessy, to Sir Henry Jerningham (about 1620-1680), Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1646.
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Jerningham, 2nd Baronet of Costessy, to Sir Francis Jerningham (about 1650-1730), 3rd Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1680.
Bequeathed by Sir Francis Jerningham to Sir John Jerningham (d. 1737), 4th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1730.
Bequeathed by Sir John Jerningham to Sir George Jerningham (d. 1774), 5th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1737.
Bequeathed by Sir George Jerningham to Sir William Jerningham (1736-1809), 6th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1774.
Bequeathed by Sir William Jerningham to Sir George William Stafford Jerningham (1771-1851), 7th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1809. (documented in the library, Costessy Hall, 1819)
Bequeathed by Sir George William Stafford Jerningham to Sir Henry Valentine Stafford-Jerningham (1802-1884), 9th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1851.
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Valentine Stafford-Jerningham to Sir Augustus Frederick Fitzherbert Stafford-Jerningham (1830-1892), 10th Baronet of Costessy, Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1884.
Bequeathed by Sir Augustus Frederick Fitzherbert Stafford-Jerningham to Sir Fitzherbert Edward Stafford-Jerningham (1833-1913), 11th Baronet of Costessy Hall, Norfolk, 1892.
Purchased by the picture dealers Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, London from Sir Fitzherbert Edward Stafford-Jerningham (1833-1913), 11th Baron of Costessy Hall, Norfolk, before 10 July 1901.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, London for £3,400 on 14 August 1901, through the American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959).


Inscribed (upper left, in a later hand): MARYE the QUEENE

Dimension Notes

Frame: 144.8 x 116.2 cm (57 x 45 3/4 in.).


Henri Hymans (trans. and ed.). Le Livre des Peintres des Carel Van Mander..., vol. 1 (Paris, 1884), p. 277.
Egerton Castle (ed.). The Jerningham Letters (1780-1843)... (London, 1896), p. 144. (excerpting a letter of 25 August 1819)
Catalogue. Fenway Court. (Boston, 1903), p. 15. (as by Mor)
John La Farge et al (eds.). Noteworthy Paintings in American Private Collections, vol. 1 (New York, 1907), pp. 63, 67, 124-25, 214-19, ill. (as a replica or duplicate of the portrait by Mor, in the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, accession no. P021208, in his own hand)
Henri Hymans. Antonio Moro: son oeuvre et son temps (Brussels, 1910), p. 77, n1. (as by Mor; an old variant of the Prado version, according to Max Jakob Friedländer)
Morris Carter. Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court (Boston, 1925; Reprint, Boston, 1972), p. 197. (as by Mor)
Robert Allerton Parker. "Antonio Moro: Painter to the King of Spain." The International Studio, vol. 91 (November 1928), pp. 41-42, ill. (as a replica of the Prado version)
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), pp. 243-47, ill. (as by Mor, painted at the time of Mary's betrothal to Philip II of Spain)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), pp. 187-88. (as by Mor, 1553 or 1554)
Stuart Preston. "Queen Mary of England" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 42. (as by Mor, 1553?)
Ellis Waterhouse. Painting in Britain, 1530 to 1790 (London, 1953), p. 14. (as by Mor)
Ronald Hilton. Handbook of Hispanic Source Materials and Research Organizations in the United States (Stanford, California, 1956), p. 195. (as by Mor, painted at the time of Mary's betrothal to Philip II of Spain)
Sylvia Sprigge. Berenson, a Biography (Boston, 1960), pp. 183-85. (as by Mor)
“Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 9, no. 37 (15 May 1966), p. 2. (excerpting Sylvia Sprigge, pp. 138-85)
Roy Strong. National Portrait Gallery: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits (London, 1969), p. 212, pls. 414-15. (as by Mor; one several variants, referred to here as version c)
Roy Strong. The English Icon: Elizabethan & Jacobean Portraiture (New Haven, 1969), p. 117. (as by Mor)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 165-68, ill. (as by Mor and his studio, after autumn 1553)
Christopher Falkus (ed.). The Private Lives of the Tudor Monarchs (London, 1974), p. 85, fig. 46.
Ernest Samuels. Bernard Berenson: The Making of a Connoisseur (Cambridge, 1979), p. 357.
Rollin van N. Hadley (ed.). The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924 (Boston, 1987), pp. 258-62, 264-66, 269-71, 321, 350-51.
Joanna Woodall. "An Exemplary Consort: Antonis Mor's Portrait of Mary Tudor." Art History, vol. 14 (June 1991), pp. 192-224, n1, n15. (as one of three full size versions of the portrait by Mor, mid November 1554-20 December 1554; the Prado version and a version in the collection of the Marquess of Northampton, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire)
Simon Thurley. The Royal Palaces of Tudor England: Architecture and Court Life 1460-1547 (New Haven, 1993), pp. 238, 241-42, fig. 325. (as by Mor, 1554)
Joanna Woodall in Karen Hearn (ed.). Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England, 1530-1630 (London, 1995), p. 54. (as one of three full size variants of the portrait by Mor, 1554; the Prado and Northampton versions)
Kathryn Gill et al. Upholstery Conservation: Principles and Practice (Oxford, 2001), p. 126, fig. 9.3. (as by Mor, 1554)
Joanna Woodall. Anthonis Mor: Art and Authority (Zwolle, 2007), pp. 263-93, fig. 89. (as by Mor and workshop, 1554)
Rolf Bothe und Andreas Rietz. Polstermöbel und textile Raumausstattungen (Berlin: Schnell & Steiner GmbH, 2019), p. 129, ill.

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Mary Tudor (1516–1558) was the only surviving child of England’s Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Mary became queen in 1553 and married Philip, heir to the kingdom of Spain (later Philip II). Although this portrait was painted as an engagement present for her future husband, Mary looks somber. Given that her marriage was meant to seal an alliance between England and Spain, perhaps it’s appropriate that this portrait emphasizes Mary’s power and status. Antonis Mor was the most successful portraitist of his day. Official portraits were frequently copied to be given away to other rulers and family members. The first version of this painting is now in Madrid.


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