Mixed media (gouache, water colour and ink) on Felix Schoeller True Rag Etching
427 X 630 mm (original artwork is framed in one-off arched frame with bronze plaque as per image)

Prints are on Felix Schoeller True Rag Etching 310 gsm
437 x 655mm (with added white border for square format)
Edition of 15
Hand-signed, dated and numbered

Born around 990 AD, Lady Godiva is among the most legendary figures of Western history, known as a young Anglo-Saxon noble woman who married the much older Leofric, earl of Mercia and lord of Coventry; much of her tale has been passed down through oral history and lore. While both Godiva and Leofric were known as generous benefactors to religious houses, Godiva was noted especially for her warm-heartedness and popularity with the people of Coventry.

The story goes that Godiva noticed the plight of the people of Coventry, who were suffering terribly under the oppressive taxation installed by Leofric. She implored her husband to revoke the taxes, again and again. He obstinately refused. Finally, after he grew tired of her appeals, he flippantly asserted that he would grant her request under one condition: ‘Mount your horse naked and ride through the market place of the town, from one side right to the other, and when you return you shall claim what you desire.’

Godiva took him at his word and sent a message through the village – that all the citizens were to shutter their houses, stay indoors and avert their eyes. Bravely Godiva stripped naked, freed her long hair from its bindings so it veiled her body and took her husband up by his dare: accompanied by two soldiers she rode naked on horseback from one end of Coventry to the other, forcing her husband to lift his heavy taxation.

Legend states that there was one man named Thomas who could not refrain from looking and spied on the Countess as she rode through town. As punishment, the townspeople struck him blind, and from this tale the name “Peeping Tom” originated as a nickname for a voyeur.