The cold never bothered me anyway

“One day, lad, all this will be yours! “
“What, the curtains? “
“No. Not the curtains, lad. All that you can see, stretched out over the hills and valleys of this land! This’ll be your kingdom, lad. “

[from Monty Python and the Holy Grail]



This is epically hilarious….

Theme song for Rebis, if I find the budget, lol.


Alright, and now I’m off to the Duchy to get some work done.




Face to face with Antoine

This morning I took the train to Brussels so I could go and have a look at Antoine’s garb in the Old Masters Museum before I do the underdrawing of C. There is a fairly good picture on Wikipedia but it’s always better to see it in real. Also, in most pictures the top of the hat is edited out and I couldn’t figure out how the coat and shoulders look like either (tbh, I still can’t).

I got there a bit too early and there was already a rather large queue of tourists waiting in line until the museum opened its doors, mainly because it was a Sunday and raining and there was nothing else to do, I guess. Luckily the groups of Chinese tourists trouped together before Rubens and Breugel. Antoine was mostly ignored except for the ones doing the audio tour.

The portrait was painted around 1463 by Rogier van der Weyden (or his studio?) according Wikipedia so Antoine must have been in his forties at the time of painting.  He was an illegitimate son of Philip the good of Burgundy, hence his epithet The Big Bastard of Burgundy (his mum must have been so proud). He was born around 1421 and died in 1504.

The painting was a lot smaller than I remembered so I accidentally walked past it the first time. Here is a picture of the portrait on the wall, so you have an idea. It is on the left:

I spent quite some time studying the picture and taking photographs with my phone.  It was not so easy to take good pictures because a) the painting is very dark b) a lot of the lighting in the museum comes from natural sources through the windows in the ceiling and it was raining heavily and very dark outside c) there is a glass plate in front of the painting which causes reflections.

Here are some of the pictures I took. The white spots are reflections of some lamps. I didn’t edit them out. Maybe I will upload some more under WIP > Burgundia later on.

I am not sure how true to life this portrait is. Van der Weyden’s portraits tend to be a bit formulaic. In any case, it was one of my first favourite paintings. There is also a portrait by Memling in which he looks a bit older and more according to the Memling portrait formula  (wide face and frizzy hair) and with a particularly ugly hat but it’s not in this museum.

I also made some pictures of interesting details of other medieval paintings such as Philip the Fair and Joanna the Mad, but I’ll write a separate post about those.


Well, I can honestly say that after this visit, it still remains one of my favourite portrait paintings. There is a similar one, also really good, without an arrow and in which he wears a red collar, but it’s in private hands, I believe. (Lucky bastards, lol).




Back to school (or the not so golden ass)

The stock item of the tv news on the first Monday of September: Crying toddlers on their first school day.

Not sure if I’ve posted this hilarious  picture on this blog before. If not, it’s the perfect day for it. (Note that it looks like it was censored.)

“Even if you send an ass to Paris to study, it won’t return as a horse” (Pieter van der Heyden after Pieter Breugel the Elder – 1557)  – Image from Wiki somewhere

Tbh, the ass seems quite well-behaved.



Van oude menschen, de bloempotten, die voorbij gaan…

Gisteren heb ik nog wat in mijn schetsboek zitten werken aan studies van Primitieven (en op schaarsgeklede dames en zo maar daar ga ik het nu niet over hebben). Ik dacht eens een studie van een Memling te doen dus heb ik wat op het internet zoeken naar portretten. Het meest interessante was een of andere louche (pleonasme ongetwijfeld) Italiaanse bankier, ie. Tommaso Portinari .  Zijn levensverhaal is uitermate boeiend, daarom zet ik de link naar Wikipedia erbij. [Direct en indirect zijn Dante, Brugge en Karel er ook bij betrokken (zie vorige posts) maar dat is louter toeval.]

Met interessant bedoel ik dat er bij Memlings portretten vaak “iets” ontbreekt. Ik weet niet hoe ik het moet omschrijven, mojo of kazang of zoïets. Anyway, het gaat om volgende schijnheilige ragazzo:

Voor ik er uiteindelijk een portretje van een willekeurige voorbijganger uitkoos, heb ik door massa’s portretten gebladerd en dit riep toch 1 belangrijke vraag bij mij op. Kijk zelf maar eens of je het kunt ontdekken:

Al die oerlelijke bloempotkapsels….

Hadden ze nu echt geen betere coiffeurs in de Middeleeuwen?



Paris I

Long time no write so update required. RL tasks away from home and events kept interfering, not to mention the sheer  endless stream of GDPR e-mails and phone calls that had to be dealt with.  Apart from those things, there was also an art school ‘field trip’ weekend and the last rush to complete assignments. Next on my list list will be updating the pages of this site.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of our art school ‘field trip’ to Paris a couple weekends ago. No time for shopping, just plenty of museums. We had to travel ultra light so I did not take the camera, and instead used my phone.

Day 1:

Strange rabbity art piece at the entrance of the Paris Nord train station.

The bombastic mausoleum with Napoleon’s tomb. We didn’t go in. 

We had a quick lunch in a park near Napoleon’s tomb. After an airport style security check by armed soldiers we were let into the park. Almost immediately after we sat down on one of the garden benches to eat our packed sandwiches an opportunistic one legged pigeon hopped over. We fed it bread and croissants. Probably not very good for the bird nutritionally speaking, but it seemed happy anyway.

After lunch we visited the Rodin museum and its gardens.

The entrance to the museum

Gates of Hell, quite appropriate description of the museum that day. Hot and crowded.

The man in the mirror

The hallway.

Pardon me but your nails are in my neck.

The head of Anna de Noailles (sculpted one, not her real head, obviously)

Study for John the Baptist

More loose parts of John the Baptist. 

The gardens, view from the rear. (HA HA HA so funny euuaahmmm)

Our next stop was the Orangerie. There are two parts to this museum: two large oval rooms with Monet’s water lilies and regular museum rooms with mostly 19th/20th century paintings by Renoir, Matisse,  etc. Lots of naked women. On the paintings, not in the halls.

We had to cross the Seine to go the the Orangerie.

To give you an idea what the lilies in the oval rooms look like. I somehow managed to crop out the crowds.

This painting by Matisse can also be seen at the Orangerie

Our last stop for the day was the Orsay museum. Staff made a whole fuss about entrance times, security check, rucksacks etc, so in the end we had about 15 minutes for a visit all in all. I only had time to take a quick snap of this Bouguereau painting of Dante and Virgil in Hell on my way out. Here you can see a good example of the saying: “Hell is where my hat is.” In general I do not particularly like Bouguereau’s paintings but this one is a bit more interesting. The picture here says nothing about the size. The painting is huge (281×225 according to Wikipedia).

This concluded out museum visits of day one. Day two is for the next post.