Amy Robsart in 19th Century Paintings

Amy Robsart, Robert Dudley’s first wife, was found dead on 8 September 1560 at her lodgings in Cumnor, Berkshire, at the foot of some stairs. Almost 261 years later, in January 1821, Sir Walter Scott published his 13th historical novel: Amy Robsart secretly marries the Earl of Leicester; through an intrigue she is killed by Leicester’s selfish servant Varney, who arranges her fall downstairs at her house; the story unravels during a great festival at the castle of Kenilworth, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth.

Kenilworth was an immediate bestseller. Victor Hugo wrote a play and Donizetti an opera, and throughout the 19th century many paintings were created illustrating scenes from the novel in the style of historicism …

Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester, by Richard Parkes Bonington, 1828

Amy Robsart, by Charles Robert Leslie, 1833

Amy Robsart, by Thomas Francis Dicksee (d.1895)

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s visit to his wife, Amy Robsart at Cumnor Hall, by Henri Jean-Baptiste Victoire Fradelle (d.1865)

Leicester and Amy Robsart at Cumnor Hall, by Edward Matthew Ward, 1866

Amy Robsart, by William Frederick Yeames, 1870

The death of Amy Robsart, by William Frederick Yeames, 1877

Amy Robsart looking at Leicester’s portrait, by Edward Charles Barnes (d.1890)

Amy Robsart, by William Quiller Orchardson (d.1910)






About Christine Hartweg

Hi, I'm the author of "Amy Robsart: A Life and Its End" and "John Dudley: The Life of Lady Jane Grey's Father-in-Law". I blog at
This entry was posted in Amy Robsart, paintings, Robert Dudley and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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