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Edwin Landseer was one of the most successful painters of the early Victorian period and was Queen Victoria's favourite living artist. He was particularly famous for his paintings of animals.
The model was Eliza Crowe, whose stage name was Madame Wharton. She played Godiva in the 1848 Godiva procession in Coventry.
Landseer did not complete this painting until 1865. Queen Victoria saw it in his studio in 1866. It is possible that he added the ermine fur drape, representing royalty, after the Queen's visit.
oil on canvas
H 143 x W 112 cm
gift from W. H. Bassett-Green, 1948