The clothes depicted in Mary Stuart's portraits related to her French sojourn, although following the current fashions, possess specific meanings dependent on their color, functional in profiling the role and figure of the queen in the Parisian court. Indeed, the Stuart portraits are not to be understood merely as effigies. In fact, they introduce robes in white, black, and red (in various shades and combinations), which not coincidentally return frequently in the iconography of French queens and princesses of the period. In the case of the Scottish sovereign’s portraiture, the aim of the color is to express her dedication to her husband Francis II, her incorporation into the Valois family, and, after her early widowhood, her loyalty to the memory of her spouse. The values expressed by the colors acquire a particular political relevance that, on the one hand, must be linked to the status of Mary Stuart, who, besides being a queen consort, was already a queen in her own right, and on the other hand, must be placed in the specific context of the relations between France, Scotland, and England.
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