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Submitted on
September 26, 2011
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TheExecution of Lady Jane Grey by KristinaGehrmann TheExecution of Lady Jane Grey by KristinaGehrmann
In the Tudor era (and probably in the Middle Ages too) it was customary for the executioner to ask the condemned's forgiveness. It was supposed to show that he held no malice towards the victim; that he was only an extension of the law doing his job. By granting forgiveness the condemned also had a chance of showing magnanimity in the face of death, thus leaving a good impression on the spectators.
Lady Jane Grey forgave her executioner, as did Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard before her.

Who was Lady Jane Grey? She was designated queen by young king Edward Seymour (the son and successor of Henry VIII, as you remember).
But when he died in 1553, she managed to be queen for only about 2 weeks, because Henry's daughter Mary Tudor had many supporters and so became queen the same year.
The 17 year old Lady Jane Grey, though she didn't plot against Queen Mary herself, became a symbol of resistance and Protestantism and so became dangerous to the Catholic politics of Mary. Queen Mary had her executed for "high treason" in 1554.

You can read the entire story on Wikipedia here: [link]

Even today historians aren't sure if she had a legitimate claim to the throne or not, so she's usually not included in a line-up of English regents.

Hmm. That's quite a lot of death scenes in my portfolio so far. Perhaps I should paint a birth some time...! Nevermind. The next painting, of course, is going to feature Mary Tudor ("the Catholic" or "Bloody Mary" depending on whose side you're on).

Photoshop and Wacom tablet as always, took about 30 hours or so. (Social life? What's that? XD)
Wood and brick wall textures snatched from .
Screaming guy referenced from ~alastock - [link]
Lady-in-waiting referenced from `lockstock - [link]
Special thanks to the folks on for kicking my butt :heart:

WIP can be seen here: [link]

Kristina Gehrmann

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Or follow my sketchbook on - regularly updated since 2008...

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Add a Comment:
Noojie-Woojie Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014
She was blindfolded in her execution if im not mistaken. :)
Kiwwy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
off with her head!
colormeroyal Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
Beautiful artwork!

 Jane Grey did have a bit of claim to the throne since her mother, Lady Frances Grey was the daughter of Mary Tudor, Queen of France's daughter (King Henry VIII's younger sister).  The thing was, her cousin Mary had a bigger claim being the daughter of Henry VIII and the will listed her as an heir to the throne despite her previous status as illegitimate.  
theterriblezodin Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is superb.
RomancesSansParoles Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I love that you have done Tudor times! It was such an interesting time period:heart:
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Somewhere I read that Jane first saw Mary as her friend then felt really betrayed when Mary sent her to die for no reason except for just 'being an obstacle' basically while some claim that Mary was forced to do it by the ambassadors of Spain telling her that her 'love' wouldn't come to England under the Protestant rule.
Tsubasa9496 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013
Great, but Jane seymour died in childbirth.
StealthNerd Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, but this painting isn't of Jane Seymour. It's of Jane Grey.
Tsubasa9496 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
oh, oops.
Poetsiren Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
Well thought and researched premise for an artistic piece! APPLAUSE!! Clap 
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