God Speed is a painting by British artist Edmund Leighton, depicting an armored knight departing to war and leaving his beloved. The painting was exhibited in the Royal Academy of Arts in 1900.[1] God Speed was the first of several paintings by Leighton in the 1900s on the subject of chivalry, the others being The Accolade (1901) and The Dedication (1908).

God Speed
Leighton-God Speed!.jpg
ArtistEdmund Leighton
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions160 cm × 116 cm (63 in × 46 in)
LocationPrivate collection


The woman ties a red sash around the knight's arm, which he is meant to return, a medieval custom which assured both parties that they would be reunited, alive and well.[2] A griffin on the newel post of the stairs is a symbol of strength and military courage.[2] The knight departs through a castle gate with portcullis; others can be seen leaving through the gate.

When the painting was ready for transportation to the Royal Academy, Leighton made a last-moment change in the studio.[3] He scraped out the work of a week and within two hours made his desired change.[3]


After being bought from Leighton, the painting was owned by several people and in 1988 appeared at Christie's.[1] It was then housed in an American private collection and in 2000 was again submitted to Christie's.[1] In 2007 the painting appeared at Sotheby's and then in a British private collection.[1] On 10 May 2012 God Speed was sold again for ​£481.250 to a private collector through Sotheby's in London.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lot 26". Sotheby's. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wim Van Aalst (August 2012). "Reading Art: Blair Leighton's 'God Speed'". The Epoch Times. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Rudolph De Cordova. "The Art of Mr. E. Blair Leighton". ArtMagick. Retrieved 28 July 2016.