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Tudor Queens 7 - The Lady Mary by KristinaGehrmann Tudor Queens 7 - The Lady Mary by KristinaGehrmann
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:
[link] - painted by Master John in 1544
[link] - 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 .

Kristina Gehrmann

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AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
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 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 14, 2014
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 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
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 Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so good, it really looks like her too
TatianaRomanov21 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh my this is so good:)
LadyAnneBoleyn00 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013
Oh, my, lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FinisCoronatOpus Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
CelticIrishgirl Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
As much as I despise the woman, this is amazing!
SenshiOfMyth Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist
If only 16th century painters painted like you :D
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 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
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.
MissSindy Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
I liked Mary Tudor until she became all crazy lol

Love the painting
Haineko14 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Bloody Mary is this Mary idiots ^^
starrynights1987 Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Student Writer
LadyAquanine73551 Featured By Owner May 21, 2012
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 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012
Lovely!! It looks just like her paintings. I can image this is what she'd look like.
Vampyre-Lover Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Stunning!!! Masterful Work!!! Museum Excellence!!!
irishcherry Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
DreamishMind Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012
Wow. You got her face absolutely spot on
Tsuchan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
I just love your classical style of painting! Lovely job.
KristinaGehrmann Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you <3
FadwaAngela Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconamongststars: Your Beautifil Art has been feature in my journal :iconamongststars:

Here >>> [link] or here [link]
Merillian Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
oh my.
dech zapiera.
fuhrmannskoffer Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
beautiful ^^ cant say more, sorry :D
artdibujar Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
awesome work - very beautiful illustration - well done
XxPokemonFreakxX Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Student
You have done an amazing job at portaying Mary, especially her eyes (I think they should be a little greener). But the intensity and power, yet softness of her eyes is captured absolutely to a T. The face is also wonderfully acurate and you made her hair the correct color(that is most often the most confusing part for creating an image of Mary Tudor). Overall this is an absoultely beautiful piece, and that's coming from an intense Mary I fan.
liubovsimple Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
This is amazing!!!
jtarwin Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011
Intellectual poise and the scratching of the quill bring this picture more noble pride than one would normally be allowed.
anakarayaravenclaw23 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011
I have an obsession with the Tudors. :) This is beautiful :D
Perplexville Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
amazing work:D
heartbubbles Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011
The expression on her face is so wonderfully Mary-ish in my opinion. Wonderful job! I think I'll use the word wonderful one more time :P
MsCecil Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this piece!
You have a nice, smooth and calm paintingstyle, and you do a terrific work!
MsCecil Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
PS: It was a common fashion at the time, to pluck your entire eyebrow out.
baldgoat68 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
Excellent detail, I admire your patience.
InnateNobility Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
That looks just like her! Excellent attention to detail.
TheSatanicNun Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
it looks wonderful
bloody-kisses Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011  Hobbyist
Love it even with no eyebrows although any reason you made her left handed? In this time even if you favoured your left they would make you use your right
ChiyuFuteki Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
Lovely - like the rest of the series. Next - Elizabeth!
kairitonks Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Her story was very sad. C'est très beau.
mxgirl199 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful work!
rajasegar Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great piece of work.
Thanks for sharing...
Featured in Inspirations at
taylor-of-the-phunk Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
Beautiful. I'm in love with Tudor fashion. This is perfect.
I think they may have plucked their eyebrows. That was certainly the fashion in earlier centuries, and the Tudor/Elizabethan style was for a pale face. Also, I know there are some phrases in Shakespeare which imply that black hair and eyebrows were considered ugly, so maybe women women were trying to have the opposite.
JenniferHealy Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
Stunning work! :heart:
Mousey-Mouse Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is gorgeous!
PygmyShreww Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Lovely portrait, per usual. Can't wait for the next one. ^^ <3
hildegunst01 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow, that is a great work! very nice. : )
21stCenturyDamocles Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
wonderful you never seas to amaze me
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Submitted on
October 20, 2011
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