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A replica of a much larger picture (Paris, Louvre) exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1831. The subject is probably taken from Shakespeare’s 'Richard III', IV, iii. Edward V (1470–1483) succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Edward IV. He was deposed by his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester (who became Richard III) on 22 June 1483. Shortly afterwards, he and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York (1472–1483), were murdered in the Tower of London. In Shakespeare’s play the murder of the brothers is related by Sir James Tyrrel, Richard III’s henchman, rather than shown on stage. Nevertheless, the painting, with its stage-like setting and melodramatic subject, is highly theatrical. The dog and perhaps the young Duke of York sense the arrival of the approaching murderers.

The Wallace Collection



Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower




oil on canvas


H 43.5 x W 51.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1843; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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