A controversial 16th century painting has been uncovered in the attic of an eccentric historian in Dorking. It is infamous for being banned for showing the then Queen Elizabeth I topless.
The portrait was painted by French "paparazzi" artist LaDouche. Following the invention of the portable easel in the early 1500s, such artists began to follow famous people and royals around, hoping to get a quick drawing of them in an embarrassing pose. LaDouche was one of the best known such artists, and was said to be able to paint a good portrait in as little as ten minutes.
It was the first year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and the 26 year old virgin had been holidaying in the exclusive seaside villa of Scunthorpe. While getting changed behind a barrier on the beach, it is thought she was almost naked for a number of minutes. The painter had been spotted sitting a couple of hundred yards away, and may have been using an early telescopic device to get such a clear view of the monarch.
LaDouche sold the picture to a French company, who manually repainted multiple copies of it to be sold to collectors throughout Europe. Upon discovering the intrusion, LaDouche was sentenced to death in absentia, and all known copies of the painting were ordered to be destroyed. The one discovered today may be the only one left, making it extremely valuable, if only it hadn't been painted so hastily.