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Mary Queen of Scots - Final Dress and Catholic Reverence

Mary Queen of Scots - Final Dress and Catholic Reverence Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies Trials World History Visual Arts

At her execution, Mary Queen of Scots wore a red petticoat.  There was symbolism in that clothing selection.  At the time, it signified that a Catholic martyr was about to die.

Robert Herdman (1829-1888), a Scottish painter, created this work in 1867.  He has imagined what it must have been like on the 8th of February, 1587, as Mary approached the executioner’s block. 

Mary, Queen of Scots approaches her execution with a calmness in this painting.  She seems unperturbed by the coffin which we see at the lower-right side of the picture.  She is with her two ladies-in-waiting (Elizabeth Curle and Jane Kennedy) and - between them - the Master of Mary’s household (Sir Andrew Melville).

The original work is maintained at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.


Media Credits

Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots - by Robert Herdman - online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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