Queen Elizabeth Bidding Farewell To Her Sons
(Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard)


Elizabeth Wydville, a widow and great beauty, became Queen of England when Edward IV married her in 1464 against much opposition because she was not of royal rank and furthermore had lineage in the Lancaster family, the traditional enemy of the ruling House of York. When Edward IV died in 1483 he had two surviving sons by Elizabeth and so the continuing reign of the York family seemed assured. However, in one of the most tragic episodes of the struggle for power in fifteenth-century England, shortly thereafter both boys were imprisoned in the Tower of London by their uncle the Duke of Gloucester who usurped young Edward V’s throne as Richard III. This drawing does not precisely follow historical tradition which recounts the separate circumstances under which the boys were taken to the tower, but for the sake of pictorial poignancy shows the Queen bidding farewell to both of them. The two boys never left the tower and were murdered there (in 1483) presumably by Richard III.

25 7/8 x 21 3/8 inches (65.7 x 54.4 cm.)
Watercolor on paper
Where is It?
Stair Sainty Matthiesen Inc., NY
Historical Period
Neoclassicism - 1780-1820 & Romanticism - 1810-1870
Historical events
1996-Romance and Chivalry: History and Literature reflected in Early Nineteenth Century French Painting.
Hardback book. 300 pages, fully illustrated with 90 colour plates and 100 black and white illustrations. Introduction (40 pages) by Guy Stair Sainty, twelve essays, catalogue, appendix of salons 1801-24 and bibliography. £50 or $80 inc. p.& p.

(Click on image above)
Price band
$5,000 - $50,000