4 x 6 inches, watercolor, gouache and gold ink, 2008
Richard III is one of the most controversial monarchs in British History. After his brother Edward IV's death in 1483 the succession was to pass to Edwards elder son, Edward V, who was only aged 13. Richard executed Antony Wydeville, Earl Rivers, the child's guardian and took on the role of protector. Edward and his brother Richard were placed in the tower and by the end of the year had disappeared, presumed murdered. Richard had his brother's marriage to Elizabeth Wydeville declared illegitimate, thereby removing young Edward and Richard from the succession. He was crowned King in July of 1483. However, he only reigned for two years. A rebellion headed by Henry Tudor saw Richard defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, ending the reign of the Plantagenet's and the House of York.
The fate of the Princes is still hotly debated - did Richard give the order for their deaths? A chest containing two children's skeletons was found buried under a staircase in the White Tower in 1674. It was presumed that these were the Princes. What is certain is that Tudor propaganda created the image of Richard as the hunchbacked and crippled villain of Shakespeare's play.