43.3 cm x 54.6 cm (17 1/16 in. x 21 1/2 in.)
(1785 - 1836)
Eugène Delacroix (aka Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix)
(Saint-Maurice, France, 1798 - 1863, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Lithograph on chine collé
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of M.K. Hage, Jr., 1995
Jane Shore (circa 1445-1527) was the mistress of King Edward IV of England. After the king’s death, his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, accused her of conspiracy for her role in the crisis of succession and the civil war that followed. The story was resurrected (and liberally and dramatically changed) by Nicholas Rowe in his play The Tragedy of Jane Shore, written in 1714 during a similar period of political unrest in England over the rightful heir to the throne. In Rowe’s play, King Richard III deprives Jane Shore of her property, forcing her into poverty, homelessness, and, finally, a tragic death on the streets. Fundamentally, the play was about the rules of succession and the property rights of private citizens.
The subject may have been of special interest to Delacroix considering that France had just undergone its own monarchical succession when Charles X ascended to the throne after Louis XVIII’s death in 1824. The new ministers Charles X appointed initiated policies that similarly threatened the property rights of French citizens. Matters grew worse, and in 1830 another revolution erupted.