Boudicca

Roland Millington

Princeville, United States

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Artist's Description

11×14 ArtRage Studio Pro

This painting, I had best explain a bit. I was intrigued by descriptions of Queen Boudicca, in that they stated she was a formidably-sized woman with sharp features, a harsh voice and “tawny” hair. I must admit, she sounds like she’d have been quite the catch in that day, capable of bearing strong children, and in fact, the historian Tacitus commented that women of that era was roughly as fearsome of a warrior class as their husbands were.

So, I thought to myself, why not paint a representation painting of Boudicca? Represent what she must have been feeling when these things happened to her in the last months of her life.

I selected a stream as a scene in my mind, and there, I thought, is where Boudicca would go to shed herself of the conflict, the anguish, the dishonor, and indeed the anger that befell her at the hands of the Romans who stole a widow’s lands, inheritance, then flogged her and raped her daughters, and cast all of her family out in the cold.

Put flatly, she was pissed, and she had every right to be.

Some of you that pay close attention to my work know that there isn’t anything in any painting I do that is happenstance. If it has detail, it has it for a reason. If it lacks color, it lacks it for a reason. Such is the case with Boudicca. So let me give you the guided tour.

First, she’s nude. Not clothes, no torc, no gown, no tunic, no spear, nothing. None of her famous trappings except for her hair, and her size. In this place, densely packed with vines, and with an ability to be vulnerable, we see her for what she is. Strong, powerful, yet graceful and every bit a woman. The muscles of her back are colored because her passion lies there. It’s where she shoulders her burdens. Her womb, however, is dull and gray, as is her one breast. Innocence and joy in her children are gone, and that is a heavy price to have taken from you. Her hair, flowing, and weighty, is like a burdensome mantle, which leadership in a revolution certainly would be.

She is reaching down to touch the water she is wanting to step into. She’s touching on something, and hoping that it comes true. Peace, tranquility, equity. The ripples of which break against a stone, and while the stone breaks the water’s movement, surely the ripples she set into motion wore the rock enough that it gave way eventually.

The foliage in the foreground is the fertile soil which her revolution grew within. The Britons, at the time, were by most reports, fine with taxation and tributes. What they were not fine with, however, was slavery and mistreatment. And it was that very soil in which the Roman government planted the seeds themselves for the revolution when they confiscated her lands, raped her daughters and reduced her kingdom to a province.

Artwork Comments

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