James Ferrier Pryde (1866-1941)
Queen Elizabeth's Tree
oil on canvas
55½ x 60¼ in. (141 x 153 cm.)
Commissioned from the artist by Annie, later 1st Viscountess Cowdray, and by descent at Dunecht House, Aberdeenshire.
D. Hudson, James Pryde 1866-1941, London, 1949, pp. 66 and 93, pl. XXXI.
Exhibition catalogue, Rascals & Ruins: The Romantic Vision of James Pryde, London, The Fleming Collection, 2006, p. 78, no. 57, illustrated.
London, The Fleming Collection, Rascals & Ruins: The Romantic Vision of James Pryde, September 2006, no. 57.

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Lot Essay

One of the principal entertainments enjoyed by Elizabeth I on her visit to Cowdray was shooting deer in its surrounding park. She was presented with a cross-bow with which she brought down three bucks. Accounts of her visit contain diverse references to oak trees. According to one of these, the Queen was shown an ancient oak on which were hanging the arms of all the nobles and gentlemen of Sussex. Another tells how she walked out to inspect the oak tree planted at the Deer Down Bottom to commemorate her visit. Pryde appears to conflate the various incidents, showing the Queen and her entourage against the backdrop of the ancient oak which still stands today (C. Powell, Rascals & Ruins: The Romantic Vision of James Pryde, London, 2006, p. 49).

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