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KristinaGehrmann's avatar

Tudor Queens 7 - The Lady Mary

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Weep, weep, O Walsingham!
Whose days are nights;
Blessings turn'd to blasphemies
Holy deeds to despites.
Sin is where Our Lady sat;
Heaven is turned to Hell!
Satan sits where Our Lord did sway;
Walsingham! O farewell!


(This is a 16th century poem I found in Carolly Erickson's biography "Bloody Mary". Walsingham is an English pilgrimage site that was destroyed during the Reformation. The poem reflects the feelings of the Catholic people of that time, and perhaps also what Mary thought.)

Miladies and gentlemen, I present you "Bloody Mary"! :D My 7th portrait in my series of Tudor Queens.

Born in 1516 as daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor was raised to become Queen of England, just in case. Henry's male heirs indeed were short-lived, and his son Edward, after having ruled as Protestant king, died aged fifteen in 1553. Now it was Mary's turn and she became Queen the same year, at the age of 37. She was a devout Catholic and believed it was her mission to restore England to Catholicism. Which of course was pretty much impossible - one can't stop history once it has started. Until her death in 1558, about 280 Protestant "heretics" were condemned to death. (Source: Wikipedia)

There are several portraits of Mary dating from her time, of which the best known probably are these:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mar… - painted by Master John in 1544
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mar… - painted by Antonio Moro in 1555
As you can see I chose to paint her wearing the dress from the earlier painting when she wasn't Queen yet, simply because I like it more :lol:
I'm still wondering about her eyebrows or lack thereof. Was there a fashion of plucking them out, or did Mary have some nutritional deficiency?

Like some symbolism with that painting? :) Here goes: The statuette of the Virgin Mary in the background is her name patron, obviously, and the blood red color of the tapestry also was a conscious choice.

Tool: Photoshop 7 & Wacom tablet. Statue referenced from a work by Tilman Riemenschneider. Carpet and wooden panels from cgtextures.com .

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© 2011 - 2021 KristinaGehrmann
Comments161
anonymous's avatar
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Skoshi8's avatar
There was a rumor that she had had her father's corpse disinterred and burned, but that turned out to be untrue, as she still revered him even after what he had done.
Wertyla's avatar
AJInu-Okami's avatar
She was such an innocent girl until when time gone by she got crazier and crazier. Indeed she was smart, but to see herself blindly trying to do something for a man (like trying to forcibly change the religion from Protestant to Catholicism again) was pretty bad on her part.
alexsau91's avatar
Learn your history, please. Mary, as a girl with a tragic childhood, was never an 'innocent girl'; she was not crazy, and she most certainly did not change England's faith to please a man.

Mary was a pious women who saw her faith torn down in front of her - and after her status, legitimacy and her beloved mother were taken from her, that was ALL she had. She became Queen after Henry VII and Edward VI murdered thousands upon thousands of Catholics. All she sought to do was restore the 'Old Faith'. England's faith before Henry tore it up, for purely selfish reasons. Yes she burnt people, that was standard for heretics of the time -  compared to the numbers Henry, Elizabeth, and Edward killed every year for religious reasons Mary's reign was not excessively bloody - that was stories that came decades and centuries after, by Protestants who wanted a popular hate figure. 

And it's also worth noting, that of all Henry's children - Mary was by far the nicest to her siblings. Unlike her brother, for example, she did not try and deprive her sister of the throne. And Mary Stuart was a far closer heir than Jane Grey ever was, and Mary - unlike Elizabeth - was undisputed. 
AJInu-Okami's avatar
Hm, the Edward one I didn't know about. Probably because around where I live, books on him aren't around (plus the internet can side on some many sides).
I guess I thought Mary was the 'crazy' one because most books are most likely lies about her (if there are a good one on her let me know), so yeah, thanks for telling me.
LadyCastlemaine's avatar
This is so good, it really looks like her too
TatianaRomanov21's avatar
Oh my this is so good:)
LadyAnneBoleyn00's avatar
Oh, my, lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CelticIrishgirl's avatar
As much as I despise the woman, this is amazing!
esterdoodles's avatar
If only 16th century painters painted like you :D
LordOfUnholyBeatDown's avatar
Actually she was quite successful. It was her half sister, Queen Elizabeth I, that cemented England as a protestant nation by continuing the work of their father Henry VIII. If we are going by a body count, it should be Bloody Elizabeth.
riverotter7's avatar
I fully agree. Elizabeth burned more bodies than Mary ever did yet Mary is the sister who was the one was dubbed "Bloody", poor Darling. Considering Mary's health problems in her twenties and beyond, had Old Harry been smart (which he wasn't and far too egotistical. He needed a good crack upside the head evangelically but that's FAR another argument)he would have married Mary in her early teens to Reginald Pole thus combining the two "Roses" again and hoped for a Grandson or three out of a healthy happy daughter.
Granted that's all hearsay; but Mary had the guts to ride out having her religion through her Father's reign and the hell of her brother's (poor thing to die like that). All it did was strengthen her own resolve when she became Queen that her own subjects should have choice of their own religions -- until Spanish Catholics told her that Philip wouldn't come to England to marry her until she changed the National religion back to Catholicism only.
Poor Mary. It really sucked to be her. She had so few happy days and so many unhappy ones.
RoCoYuAt's avatar
Could you tell me where you found the info. on how Mary Tudor was resolved to allow the people their choice of religion until she was given the marriage-with-a-catch ultimatum? I never heard of that, and it sounds so interesting. Thank you!
MissSindy's avatar
I liked Mary Tudor until she became all crazy lol

Love the painting
Haineko14's avatar
Bloody Mary is this Mary idiots ^^
LadyAquanine73551's avatar
This painting is incredible :wow: I'll bet you anything that's what she really looked like in real life, despite distortions contemporary painters made of her face.

Hehe, it always made so little sense to see the pretty brunette Mary in "The Tudors" running around, unmarried, when men would have THROWING themselves at her feet to make her their bride. It's easier to understand her lack of marriage prospects if you look at the real Princess Mary. Not only was her position precarious, especially since she kept being swung back & forth by the law as a bastard & a legit child of Henry VIII, but she wasn't exactly a goddess when it came to her looks.
Beanie86's avatar
Lovely!! It looks just like her paintings. I can image this is what she'd look like.
Vampyre-Lover's avatar
Stunning!!! Masterful Work!!! Museum Excellence!!!
DreamishMind's avatar
I'm not sure exactly when, but somewhere between 1500 and late 1700 it wasn't uncommon for women to pluck their eyebrows and hairline (ouch!) so that their foreheads would look bigger (sigh of beauty, and intelligence). Answer to your eyebrow wonderings :meow:

And, btw, the painting is way past awesome ;)
smw93's avatar
Wow. You got her face absolutely spot on
anonymous's avatar
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