God Speed (painting)

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God Speed
Leighton-God Speed!.jpg
Artist Edmund Leighton
Year 1900
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 160 cm × 116 cm (63 in × 46 in)
Location Private collection

God Speed is a painting by British artist Edmund Leighton, depicting an armored knight departing to war and leaving his beloved. The painting was exhibited in the Royal Academy of Arts in 1900.[1] God Speed was the first of several paintings by Leighton in the 1900s on the subject of chivalry, the others being The Accolade (1901) and The Dedication (1908).

Composition[edit]

The woman ties a red sash around the knight's arm, which he is meant to return, a medieval custom which assured both parties that they would be reunited, alive and well.[2] A griffin on the newel post of the stairs is a symbol of strength and military courage.[2] The knight departs through a castle gate with portcullis; others can be seen leaving through the gate.

When the painting was ready for transportation to the Royal Academy, Leighton made a last-moment change in the studio.[3] He scraped out the work of a week and within two hours made his desired change.[3]

Provenance[edit]

After being bought from Leighton, the painting was owned by several people and in 1988 appeared at Christie's.[1] It was then housed in an American private collection and in 2000 was again submitted to Christie's.[1] In 2007 the painting appeared at Sotheby's and then in a British private collection.[1] On 10 May 2012 God Speed was sold again to a private collector through Sotheby's in London.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Lot 26". Sotheby's. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wim Van Aalst (August 2012). "Reading Art: Blair Leighton's 'God Speed'". The Epoch Times. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Rudolph De Cordova. "The Art of Mr. E. Blair Leighton". ArtMagick. Retrieved 28 July 2016.