Portrait of Mary Tudor

This painting, by Flemish painter Hans Eworth, is of Queen Mary I of England, also known as Mary Tudor. Mary was the only child of Henry VIII and his first wife, the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon. She was the first woman to rule England as a queen in her own right without gaining her title through marriage to an English prince. Mary I was devoutly Catholic, and she spent her five-year reign (1553-1558) attempting to reverse the Protestant Reformation that her father had started. These efforts were unsuccessful, but in the process, she burned more than 280 religious dissenters at the stake. This earned her the nickname “Bloody Mary.”