A great portrait but not such a great banker (Portinari)

A couple nights ago I was going to write another post regarding the quest because I received and found new information and interesting things to explore regarding Charles the Bold and the rest of the quest. Unfortunately, there was a technical problem with WP and yesterday I ran into more technical problems. So here is a summary of paths I am exploring or planning to explore.

It’s important to look at some of these things from the perspective of a 15th century military man with serious mental problems which will be a challenge. Overthinking is not to be done, but also not neglecting things Medieval paintings are full of symbolism we don’t always understand anymore. Tbh, until a couple years ago I had a slight aversion against Charles the Bold so I was not really interested in his story. I have caught up, but there are still holes here and there.

1. Jacques/Jacobus

I have not made much progress with the identification of the different Jacques. Interestingly enough, two of the Jacques were married to ladies named Sibyl (often spelled Sybil, nb), both also difficult to identify with certainty right now. Both Jacques are contemporaries of Charles the Bold. One of the Jacques fought on the side of the Bold’s army. Jacques is a popular name (and saint) and often used as a given name, which doesn’t make it any easier to differentiate among them. The problem is the naming convention in the Middle Ages is sometimes a bit random. The coat of arms is sometime helpful.
Trivia: because part one of the quest revolved around a star, I did some very scientific research (irony quotes off) and did a google search on the combination of star and Jacob, and it turns out there is actually a Star of Jacob prophecy. As usual this is formulated in biblical darkspeak, so it could be anything, including the star of the Magi. Not helpful right now. Also not really something to do with Charles the Bold directly, except that his crypto portrait seems to feature in quite a few Magi paintings of the 15th century.

2. The Sibyls

I have been looking into the Sibyls of the Mystic Lamb (not related to the Sibyl of Jacques quest, nb). One of them definitely reminds me of someone but I can’t think of where I have seen her before. We had homework for our adult painting class, ie watch some documentaries about the Mystic Lamb by the van Eyck brothers and learned something. The two Sibyllas are victims of mistaken identities, so that’s something to look into. I am not sure if they are important right now. There is also something odd about the God figure. Don’t know what yet, but it will come.

3. The Henrys

Henry Holland, duke of Exeter: there is a vague note about him and Charles the Bold in a 1900-something book about melancholy. I have to look into that. These notes in the margins often bring me further than the great battles.

Henry Beaufort, duke of Somerset: have to look into his relation with Charles the Bold in depth.

4. Hugo

Hugo van der Goes’s painting of the Magi may have an indirect link with the tournament man who has a link with Autun. It would lead me too far now to explain why I think this. I’ll do some research and write a separate post. In the meantime I also know why the boys look so familiar, also for a different post.

5. The relics

I added the Blood and the Fleece as interesting research/quest material but forgot about the Shroud. When I started researching the Blood I had a theory that the Shroud would be somehow connected with this part of history and it is, though not with the Bold but his cousin. I must add it to the pages.

6. The colours

There is much symbolism in the colours of the ceremonial garments of Charles the Bold and the knights. In two fields. Another thing to explore.

7. Margaret

Charles the Bold’s relationship with his third wife, from the start until the end was utterly bizarre. More to explore. There are some so-called crypto portraits of her and Mary, her stepdaughter. Something to take into account.

8. The Medici Virgin

Came across this painting by Rogier van der Weyden’s studio this afternoon when I was looking at some references in a book while I was painting. There are two men in this painting that look oddly familiar. Must look into this.

9. Three Moros

I was looking at some pictures of Loches castle I took this summer. Ludovico Sforza was imprisoned here. His nikname was Il Moro, apparently. So looks like I already have three Moros in the quest, another thing to explore in a post. There are some bankers in it too.

To be continued.