Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of the English

So perhaps you know from her title that this picture represents Eleanor of Aquitaine after her marriage to Henry, Duke of the Normans. Henry went on to become Henry II, King of England, and Eleanor became queen.

Unfortunately for Eleanor, who was by all accounts a most powerful and politically shrewd woman, Henry viewed her freedom as a threat to his throne, and he imprisoned her for 15-or-so years. Seems she'd committed a wee bit of treason for supporting a revolt against him--a revolt led by her son, Richard.

After Henry's death, Richard became King Richard I, or Richard the Lionheart (you may remember him as the benevolent, imprisoned king from the Robin Hood stories). And like a good son, he freed his mummy from the clink.

Although she was no longer officially the queen, Eleanor ruled England while Richard was away on Crusade. She died in 1204. The picture I drew of her is pen & ink & colored pencil on paper.

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