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Paul Delaroche: 'The Execution of Lady Jane Grey'

Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for just 9 days until she was driven from the throne and sent to the Tower of London to be executed.

Jane became queen after the death of her cousin, Edward VI in 1553. As a Protestant, Jane was crowned queen in a bid to shore up Protestantism and keep Catholic influence at bay.

The plan didn't work. Jane's claim to the crown was much weaker than Edward VI's half sister Mary. Mary, a Catholic, had popular support and soon replaced Jane as queen.

Lady Jane Grey was executed at Tower Green on 12 February 1554. She was just 16 years old.

In this painting, she is guided towards the execution block by Sir John Brydges, Lieutenant of the Tower. The straw on which the block rests was intended to soak up the victim's blood. The executioner stands impassive to the right and two ladies in attendance are shown grieving to the left.

The painting was exhibited in Paris at the city's famous Salon in 1834, where it caused a sensation.

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