The mysterious woman who appears on the cover of Black Sabbath‘s legendary debut album has been revealed.
The artwork for the 1970 album, which celebrated its 50th birthday this week, sees a cloaked woman standing alone in a grainy woodland.
The setting, a new retrospective on half a century of the album in Rolliing Stone reveals, is a 15th-century water mill in Oxfordshire called Mapledurham, and the woman pictured is model Louisa Livingstone.
Photographer Keith Macmillan says he chose Livingstone, who now makes electronic music under the name Indreba, for the role because she’s five feet tall, and as a result, the landscape around her would look bigger.
“She wasn’t wearing any clothes under that cloak because we were doing things that were slightly more risqué, but we decided none of that worked,” Macmillan explained to Rolling Stone. “Any kind of sexuality took away from the more foreboding mood. But she was a terrific model. She had amazing courage and understanding of what I was trying to do.”
“I remember it was freezing cold,” Livingstone, who was in her teens at the time of the shoot, explains. “I had to get up at about 4 o’clock in the morning. Keith was rushing around with dry ice, throwing it into the water. It didn’t seem to be working very well, so he ended up using a smoke machine. It was just, ‘Stand there and do that.’ I’m sure he said it was for Black Sabbath, but I don’t know if that meant anything much to me at the time.”