E’ This beautiful picture of Francesco Hayez (1791-1882), He manages to reach incredible heights expressiveness, seizing with great sensitivity and expertise across the high tragedy of the described moment.
E’ on February 8 1587 It is in the Fotheringhay Castle, in the UK, He is about to end, in the most bloody, the age-old story that has pitted two queens each other cousins, Elizabeth I e Maria Stuarda, the latter condemned to the gallows right from the first.
In addition to political reasons, due to the throne claim (not entirely illegitimate) by Maria, certainly to affect not just the decision of Elizabeth also helped old grudges never dormant and largely resulting from a feeling of all-female envy towards the close relative of the Scottish, guilty of being beautiful, intelligent, educated, wife and especially mother (Elisabetta, as known, He had no children).
On that cold day in February Maria Stuarda he stood before the Executioner showing an attitude of great pride and dignity, determined to die by Queen, and especially, by Christian martyr.
For this she wore a long dress crimson red, color symbol of Catholic victims, and holding a crucifix.
Terrible the execution record.
The executioner, clumsy or maybe excited, after asking forgiveness to the woman who was about to kill, He failed the first attempt, succeeding only to injure the unfortunate to the head; time to say his last words – “sweet Jesus” – and finally another ax severed the head of the poor Maria.
The humiliation, however, were not yet finished: at the time to lift his head to show it public this all'esiguo, it fell to the floor arousing horror and reprobation; it was then that we realized that the Queen of Scotland, It is proven by the long and harsh imprisonment, often lived in extreme conditions, for years she wore a wig to hide baldness.
But it will come, albeit posthumously, revenge on the ruthless cousin Mary Stuart, whose behavior was often the most vicious and petty than apologetic books and films do not tell: It will be just his son fact, by the name of James I, to happen to Elizabeth, dead in 1603 and then buried in Westminster not far from the relative who had murdered (Photo gives: gruppocarige.it).