Mary Queen of Scots, Mourning the Dying Douglas at the Battle of Langside

Description
By the 1840s a new technique [in the field] of needlepoint known as Berlin wool work was the rage. It arose in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. New dyes became available and brightly colored wools could be worked in tent stitch on canvas. The patterns were painted by hand on “point paper,” which today would be called graph paper. Jane’s piece is an example of this technique.
A large rectangular composition shows Mary, Queen of Scots, kneeling over Douglas, who lies mortally wounded on the ground. A riderless horse stands nearby, probably Douglas’s. All in clothing of the period. The warriors wear armor and carry lances. One has a banner. The faces and hands are done in petit point. The picture is worked on penelope canvas ground, 14/28 threads per inch, with Berlin wool in tent/half cross stitch.
The title of this piece is Mary Queen of Scots, Mourning over the Dying Douglas at the Battle of Langside. It is based on a painting by Charles Landseer (1799-1879). However, Douglas did not die at that battle. Charles Landseer based many of his paintings on the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and in his book entitled The Abbot, Douglas does die at the Battle of Langside. Scott was writing historical fiction and so he could have Douglas die whenever and wherever he wanted him to.
In 1856 Jane entered this piece in the American Institute Fair in New York City where it was awarded the bronze medal (which was first prize for worsted work.) (See picture of her medal.)
Jane Elizabeth Loucks was born in 1835 to John and Desdemonia Marsh Loucks in Sharon, New York. She married Joseph Warren Hastings on February 16, 1871, in Manhattan. They moved to Illinois and had one daughter, Dena. See her other pieces; The Ascension of Jesus and The Offering of Isaac.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
embroidered picture
associated date
1961
maker
Loucks, Jane Elizabeth
Physical Description
penelope canvas ground 14/28 (overall material)
berlin wool (overall material)
reds (overall color)
greens (overall color)
blues (overall color)
brown (overall color)
gold (overall color)
black (overall color)
berlin woolwork (overall style)
tent and half cross stitches (joint piece production method or technique)
embroidery (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
average spatial: 53 1/2 in x 39 1/2 in; x 135.89 cm x 100.33 cm
place made
United States: New York, Sharon
ID Number
TE*T11103.01
catalog number
T11103
accession number
238291
subject
Textiles
Embroidered Pictures
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Embroidered Pictures
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Crystal Palmer

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