Notes: 71 / 2 years ago
Mary II, 1662 - 1694. Reigned jointly with William III, 1688 - 1694
Mary II was the eldest daughter of the future James VII and II and his first wife, Anne Hyde. This beautiful mezzotint by Abraham Blooteling was printed after her marriage to William of Orange in 1677, as it includes her title as Princess of Orange inscribed in Latin. Lely’s portrait, which this print is a reproduction of, was painted around the time of her marriage and shows her sitting in a landscape, holding a posy of flowers. The scalloped hem of her sleeve, just visible on the right-hand side, is more obvious in the painted portrait and would indicate to a contemporary audience that Mary was playing a pastoral role, such as a shepherdess or nymph. These roles were made fashionable from popular plays and masques, and deemed suitable for the depiction of young brides in portraits.