This is my second painting depicting nursery rhymes.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells.
And pretty maids all in a row.
|Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. Oil on Canvas. 16x12|
Some say it's about Mary Queen of Scots. Wasn't she also Mary 1 of England? Known as Bloody Mary? I'm confused. I have tried to look it up, but it is very complicated. Or maybe I'm just thick?
Some say it is allegorical, about Catholicism. For or against I don't know.
How does your garden grow could refer to her reign over her realm.
Siver bells? Catholic cathedrals?
Cockleshells? Insinuating her husband (which one?) was unfaithful.
Pretty maids all in a row could be her ladies-in-waiting.
There are lots of other explanations about this rhyme. I don't know the truth of it. I have just painted the picture that was in my head. That'll do for me. I am more interested in the painting than the history, as you may have guessed. I didn't know what Mary looked like when I was painting this, so I made her up. Turns out I wasn't too far off the mark if I do say so myself.
Please click on photo to enlarge.