This is a short follow-up post regarding Hugo van der Goes, the Flemish primitive painter. This afternoon I was listening to an interesting podcast about the St Peter’s church of Leuven and the painter Dieric Bouts. My grandfather’s father was from Leuven and apparently a number of his ancestors were baptised and/or buried in and around that particular church, so it’s always interesting to learn something extra about it.

What does one do on lockdown nights with nowhere to go? Dig around in parish records, obviously. The records of St. Peter’s church go back to the 16th century but the oldest bits are fairly trashed, so here is the eldest legible record of a baptism of one of my ancestors I could find, one in 1612. To give you an idea how such a record looks, here it is. It is the one in the middle. There is a newer index of the records where it is supposed to be Libertus, son of Joannes Lyfdochters and Joanna Hoes, but the index is not very accurate and one big mess.

But that has nothing to do with Hugo, just with the church. Let’s move on.

I picked up the Monthléry piece I had started to paint months ago and hadn’t touched for ages. It dawned on me that the boys in the back of the Monforte altarpiece looked so familiar because one of the characters in my Monthléry painting resembles one of them closely (though not painted as well :/). Must have subconsciously copied it from memory. First mystery solved.but

Anyway, I went to get the library book about Hugo van der Goes by Elisabeth Danens to have a closer look at the details of the Monforte painting. I am reading the book but I haven’t gotten to the part where the painting is analysed yet.

I definitely have to look into the history of this painting in detail (see earlier post) because in the description of the altarpiece the author has a theory about the characters depicted that creates a link between Hugo and my tournament guy. The first theoretical link I made was a visual one, a similarity in composition, but this link is about identities. It would mean I am not seeing ghosts where there aren’t any.

But that’s it for today. I know what to do next.

To be continued.