ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5 inches, watercolor and gouache, 2008.
An ACEO portrait of Isabella, the wife of Edward II of England. The daughter of the French King Philip IV, Isabella was married to Edward in 1308, aged twelve. Edward was initially a popular King, but it soon became apprarent that he had "favourites", men who became his constant companions and on whom he relied and bestowed favours and riches, first Piers Gaveston and later Hugh le Despenser. Even so, Edward and Isbella produced four children , the first in 1312. However, she returned to France in 1325 having had enough of the situation and she became lovers with Roger Mortimer. Together they planned to return to England and defeat Edward. They landed in England in 1326, captured and executed Depenser and forced Edward to abdicate in favour of his son, Edward III, with Isabella and Mortimer ruling as regents. Edward II was imprisoned and was supposedly murdered on the orders of Isabella but it is now thought quite possible he actually escaped to the continent and lived as a hermit. In 1330, when Edward III reached 18 he staged a coup and deposed Isabella and Mortimer, having Mortimer executed. Isabella was retired to Castle Rising and lived out a long life, eventually being allowed to visit court and dying in 1358, aged 66.