Beyoncé has seemingly taken inspiration from Lady Godiva for the cover of her upcoming album Renaissance.
After surprise-releasing her previous two albums, Beyoncé is taking the traditional album rollout approach with Renaissance. She announced the album’s title and 29 July release date last month before dropping its lead single, the house-influenced Break My Soul.
On Thursday, she continued her rollout by sharing the album’s cover artwork, which depicts her in a minimalist spiky metallic bikini sitting atop a transparent glowing horse, which looks almost like a disco ball.
Many fans have compared the image to John Collier’s 1897 painting of Lady Godiva, a British noblewoman believed to have ridden a horse naked – covered only in her long hair – through the streets of Coventry, England. Others have noted the similarities between the album artwork and a photo of Bianca Jagger on horseback at legendary New York nightclub Studio 54.
On Instagram, Beyoncé explained that she wants Renaissance to help people escape and feel free.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment,” she wrote in the caption. “A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
– Cover Media