Lady Jane Grey in The Tower

Artist: William Frederick Yeames

Year: 1867

Title: Lady Jane Grey in The Tower

Materials: oil on canvas

Size: 27 x 41.1 cm

Current Location: Original Painting Unknown. Small preparatory painting in the collection of the Museum of Sheffield

Thoughts:  

A painting depicting a scene from the 10th Feburary 1554.   John Feckenham, confessor to Queen Mary visited Lady Jane Grey in the Tower of London in the hope of converting Jane to the Catholic faith. 

Jane is seen, seated at a table with her bible resting on her lap.  She appears in the right-hand side of the painting and the artist appears to have been heavily influenced by the Wrest Park portrait for the depiction of Jane’s costume. Her face has been altered slightly to depict that of a younger female closer to Jane’s actual age than the sitter seen in the Wrest Park portrait.  Seated to the left-hand side is John Feckenham, who holds a large book open on his lap.   

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art in 1868 and was described in the catalouge for the exhibition as

Item 363 – Lady Jane Grey in The Tower – W.F Yeames

“she firmly resisted all efforts made by the emissaries of Mary to induce her to change her faith. Three days before her execution, Feckenham, the Queen’s Chaplin, engaged her in a learned disputation, from which he was obliged to retire discomfited”

The original painting has vanished from record, since exhibited in 1868.  A small preparatory painting made by the artist was bequeathed in 1887 to the Museums of Sheffield by a J. M Mappin. An early photograph of the original completed painting appears in William Hutchinson’s Story of The British Nations, first published in 1923.

Digital Resources:

https://archive.org/details/catalogueofperma00mapp/page/n23/mode/2up/search/lady+jane+grey?q=lady+jane+grey+in+the+tower+by+william+frederick+yeames