The Immortal Queen for the sake of Protestantism

The National Gallery in London exhibits the monumental painting ‘ Execution of Lady Jane Grey’, the queen who ruled for nine days in 1553. The French painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1856) is arguably the best example of this new genre. Through preparatory drawings and sketches, this exhibition traces the slow and careful gestation of the painting. It also places it in the wider context of history painting of the time. Important precedents are displayed alongside the major works which established Delaroche’s reputation in the 1820s and 30s. Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey’ examines Delaroche’s predilection for emotionally-affecting English themes and his involvement with the theatre, both essential components of his art. The exhibition aims to return critical attention to a major painter who fell from favour soon after his death, but to whom the public now respond with wide admiration.