The painting's actually late 19th century and seems to be a scene from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, 'Godiva' (1842).
The original version of the Lady Godiva story has Lady G protesting to her husband (Earl Leofric of Mercia) that the taxes he's imposing on the folk of Coventry are too harsh. In response, Leofric says he'll repeal the taxes if his wife rides naked through the crowded marketplace at noon.
This she does - cue happy ending.
In a later, post-Cromwell version of the story, Lady G instructs the folk of Coventry to stay indoors to avoid her being ogled. The people of Coventry obligingly do as told, all except 'Peeping' Tom, who's divinely struck blind for his troubles.
I'm currently looking through the different versions and variations of the Lady Godiva story (her name means 'God's Gift', by the way), which will make up the bones of The Cook's Second Tale from my 'Lost' Canterbury Tales project. It'll be naughty; it'll be brutal; but I think I have the makings of a story with a few surprises.
So that's two new 'Lost' Tales on the go! Let's hope I can find the time to finish them both before the X-mas holidays.
Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment: