Lady Godiva1897 by John Collier

According to legend, Lady Godive lived in the early middle ages in Coventry, England. Her husband was wealthy and harsh and imposed oppresive taxes to his tenants. As lady Godiva asked for less harsh taxes, her husband told her that he would only do that after she would ride naked through the streets. The lady astonished everyone by actually performing her assignment, but her naked... (

The story that Lady Godiva was protesting against taxes is untrue. Apparently, at the time, Coventry was a village, and there were no taxes. The procession in which Lady Godiva rode is actually a May-Eve fertility procession, many of which are found across Europe. What happened at Coventry, was that there was a Benedictine monastery there. The Christian monks did not approve of people watching the fertility procession, and so put some 'spin' on the procession, and invented this story about taxes." (
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Period / movement: pre-raphaelite