|Lady Godiva (1850) Marshall Claxton|
|Lady Godiva (1897) John Collier|
|Modern 'Godiva' with a surprising amount of clothing|
|Kate Moss in 2001|
|Lady Godiva (1892) Edmund Blair Leighton|
|Lady Godiva William Holman Hunt (from the Moxon Tennyson)|
|Lady Godiva Edward Henry Corbould|
|Godiva Disrobing to Ride Through Coventry (1887) Joseph Henry Sharp|
|Lady Godiva's Prayer (1865) Edwin Henry Landseer|
|Lady Godiva (1898) Jules LeFebvre|
There are some rather glorious statues associated with Godiva riding about in Coventry, and I do love a bit of statuary...
|Lady Godiva (1861-4) Anne Whitney|
|Lady Godiva Charles Bell Birch|
|Lady Godiva John Thomas|
|Lady Godiva William Reid Dick|
|Lady Godiva (1880) G F Watts|
Hurrah for Godiva, a proper Victorian style heroine - she did something philanthropic but she got her boobs out at the same time so it's okay for us all to have a good old look at her and admire her virtue. That leads me to wonder about the missing piece of the story: the legend says that one man ignored the request to not look and he drilled a hole in his shutters so he could have a look at Godiva as she rode past. Sadly for him, that was the last thing he saw because he was struck blind (according to some stories) or struck dead (according to some others). That man was called Peeping Tom, from whence we get the phrase. I had a good old troll around the internet and I couldn't find Victorian images of Tom and I wondered why because that is a fairly dramatic twist in the story. It also reinforces the punishment of sin and all that malarkey that the Victorians would have loved. Then I got to wondering if, in fact, we are meant to be Peeping Tom? Certainly, images of a man being struck blind for looking at the same naked lady as we're all gawping at might give one cause to feel uncomfortable, so it explains why possibly there aren't the same levels of images of him as there are other parts of the Godiva story. Also, we are indeed the chaps staring at Godiva's rather nice assets, so we should watch ourselves. It is a handy way of reminding us that we are not the virtuous creatures we might imagine we are.
|Godiva (close up) John Thomas|
And you get to keep your shoes on! Hurrah for tax relief!