And now, for something completely different. I noticed that there are only very few paintings based on the Lady Godiva legend, which at first glance seems strange, since artists otherwise rarely shun a good excuse to paint a naked woman. But Lady Godiva’s ride was for the longest time just a local tradition of Coventry, little known elsewhere. I’ll explore its development in the next couple of posts.
As a sort of overture, here an excerpt from the 1955 Hollywood movie Lady Godiva of Coventry, showing the famous ride. The movie puts the ride in a completely different context, which however fits the historic Leofric well, but has all the elements of the legend as it exists since the mid 17th century, except that the blinding of Peeping Tom is due to natural causes here.