Private collection (acquired from the Artist in 1957)
London, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Mathieu, July – Aug. 1956, n° 2
Stephen (Etienne) of Blois, the grandson of William the Conqueror, was the nephew of Henry I of England whose only legitimate child died in childhood. Henry I wanted the crown to be inherited by his illegitimate daughter, Matilda, but her marriage to Geoffrey Plantagenet, Duke of Anjou – the enemy of the Normans – was not appreciated by the barons who changed sides and preferred Stephen.
The dispute between Matilda and Stephen provoked civil war, known as The Anarchy which lasted from 1135 à 1153.
Having lost his son, Stephen had no successor and the choice of Henry Plantagenet (Henry II of England) as his heir reunited the two sides.