John Maler Collier – Lady Godiva – 1898
Once more I have chosen an academic neoclassical panting for this incipient series. Not that I prefer this style over any other, but it is a fact that it suites better figurative representations and, very especially, erotic ones, and I have a clear drive toward eroticisim.
[Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, England, U.K.]
There is some impressive command of light and colour in this oil by Collier (as in most of his), and much elegance as well. Also, the contrast between the richly attired horse, almost entirely covered, and the naked lady accentuates the eroticism of the image, objectively shy as it is.
What I like most is that the great beauty of this girl has very little to do with her feminine traits -or, to some measure, lack of them-, since they are either absent or not visible. Her body, as depicted here, could be a boy’s body as well.
All in all, a horse so proud, haughty and gorgeous and a young person so coy, delicate, slender and androgynous, in front of this deserted background: a silent medieval town; resonate deeply (and very pleasantly) in me. I do love this painting! and the long whiles I may be watching it have been again my first criterion to select it for this series.
I hope you enjoy it again as much as I do ✨ 🦄 .
Notes on the artist
John Maler Collier (England, 1850 – 1934) was a Victorian Neoclassical painter who excelled in his portrait work. His representation of Charles Darwin, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Burns, Thomas Huxley and other leading personalities of his epoch have become very widely known, and even iconic.
Li Fontrodona, 2018