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Lady Godiva

1958 Paul Manship Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966 bronze on marble base 7 7/8 x 7 3/4 x 3 1/8 in. (20.0 x 19.6 x 7.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Paul Manship 1966.47.75 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 49A


Luce Center Label

Lady Godiva lived in Coventry, England, in the eleventh century. She was concerned about the poverty of the local peasantry and asked her husband, Leofric, the Earl of Mercia and a powerful nobleman, to reduce the taxes. He agreed on the condition that she would ride naked through the streets of Coventry. This she did, and the taxes were abolished. Although we know that Lady Godiva did exist, the legendary ride is probably a myth that has been exaggerated by storytellers through the centuries. The expression “Peeping Tom” comes from one version of the tale, in which a local boy, Tom, stole a look at the naked lady as she rode through the town.

Keywords

Animal - horse

Literature - character - Lady Godiva

Portrait female - Godiva, Lady - equestrian portrait

Portrait female - Godiva, Lady - nude

sculpture

metal - bronze

stone - marble

cast

gilded

About Paul Manship

Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966

More works in the collection by
Paul Manship