The so-called St Bartholemew's Day Massacre occurred in the night from 23rd to the 24th of August 1572, shortly after the wedding of Henry of Navarre, who subsequently became King Henry IV of France (1553–1610), to his cousin Margaret of Valois (1553–1615), one of the daughters of Caterina de Medici (1519–1589). This marriage was actually intended to bring about a reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics, but instead it ended in a bloodbath on St Bartholemew's night, during which the leaders of the Protestant camp and thousands of other Paris Protestants were murdered. In the subsequent days, the violence spread to the rest of France. This depiction by François Dubois (1529–1584) shows not only the beheading of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, seigneur de Châtillon (1519–1572), on the right hand side, but also shows Caterina de Medici, who was blamed for the massacre, on the top left in the background (in a black dress).
François Dubois (1529–1584), The St Bartholemew's Day Massacre, oil on canvas, 94 × 154 cm, ca. 1572–1584, photographer: Nora Rupp, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne – Don de la Municipalité de Lausanne, 1862; image source: © Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne, https://www.mcba.ch/collection/le-massacre-de-la-saint-barthelemy-vers-1572-1584/.