The Rival Queens – Mary Queen of Scots Defying Queen Elizabeth

Currier & Ives American
Sitter Mary, Queen of Scots Scottish
Sitter Elizabeth I, Queen of England British

Not on view

In 1567, a powerful group of lords forced queen Mary Stuart to abdicate in favor of her infant son James. A few weeks later Mary fled to England to seek help from her second cousin Elizabeth I but, was instead placed under house arrest, and remained in England for nineteen years--eventually executed for plotting to have Elizabeth assassinated. The present dramatic confrontation could not have occurred because the two never met in person.

The New York firm of Currier & Ives grew from a printing business established by Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) in 1835. Expansion led, in 1857, to a partnership with James Merritt Ives (1824–1895). The firm operated until 1907, lithographing over 4,000 subjects for distribution across America and Europe. This uncolored example of their production demonstrates how, until the 1880s, images were printed in monochrome, with color added later by women who worked for the company.

The Rival Queens – Mary Queen of Scots Defying Queen Elizabeth, Currier & Ives (American, active New York, 1857–1907), Hand-colored lithograph

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