First sketch of Boudica.

First sketch of Boudica.

Illustration for the cover of National Geographic History about Boudica, queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe, who fought against occupying Roman forces. This illustration shows the moment after her army destroyed the capital of Roman Britain. (September/October 2019 issue).

To create a portrait of Boudica I did a research about the author Cassius Dio, who wrote a description of her figure: “...a terrible disaster for the Romans occurred in Britain. Two cities were sacked, eighty thousand of the Romans and of their allies perished, and the island was lost to Rome. Moreover, all this ruin was brought upon the Romans by a woman, a fact which in itself caused them the greatest shame....But the person who was chiefly instrumental in rousing the natives and persuading them to fight the Romans, the person who was thought worthy to be their leader and who directed the conduct of the entire war, was Buduica, a Briton woman of the royal family and possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women....In stature she was very tall, in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh; a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips; around her neck was a large golden necklace, and she wore a tunic of divers colours over which a thick mantle was fastened with a brooch. This was her invariable attire (Roman History, LXII.1-2). “


An interior double page explains in more detail the costume and the elements used by the tribe.