Tag: Kunst


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.

Eikenbos of de wei in?

Dienstmededeling: Beetje bij beetje ben ik de website wat aan het hertimmeren, vooral de pagina’s uit het menu. Ik zet rechts in de kolom wat ik aangepast heb.

Ondertussen ben ik in dubio – en ik ben niet alleen – of ik mij naar de grote van Eyck-tentoonstelling in Gent ga begeven. Na het bestuderen van de lijst met werken die er te zien zijn volgens de website van de tentoonstelling ben ik nog onbeslister.

Argumenten contra in volgorde van belangrijkheid, de minst belangrijke eerst:

A) Het is nogal duur (tja, het zal allemaal ook wel behoorlijk wat gekost hebben).

B) De laatste megagehypete evenementen waar ik naartoe ben geweest zijn erg tegengevallen. Te druk en te hoog gespannen verwachtingen.

C) Belangrijkst van al: de drie schilderijen die mij het meest interesseren zijn er niet bij als ik op de lijst mag afgaan, namelijk:

1) Het haast legendarische oorspronkelijke gestolen paneel De Rechtvaardige Rechters:

De eerste rechter ziet er op deze versie uit alsof hij denkt: Komaan mannen, wat is dat hier allemaal?

God weet waar dat naartoe is. Er zijn minstens twee kopieën. Michiel Coxcie heeft in de 16e eeuw een kopie geschilderd van het Lam Gods voor Filips II en nadat het gestolen werd in 1934 en spoorloos bleef, heeft Jef Van der Veken nog een kopie geschilderd, aan de hand van Coxcies kopie. Ik toon ze hier maar don’t shoot me als ik me ergens vergis want ze lijken op elkaar in lage resolutie. Misschien is dat zelfs twee keer dezelfde, ha ha ha. De originele kun je herkennen aan de lange klep van de pet van de man in het midden die een stuk van het gezicht van de man naast hem verbergt.

J. Van der Veken

2) Kanselier Rolin en de Madonna

De kanselier hangt in het Louvre

Ik ben tussendoor nog altijd bezig met het onderzoek naar de kanselier en zijn familie, o.a. Jean Rolin, de kardinaal van Autun, een lelijke vent die wel een allerschattigst schoothondje had:

3) Het altaarstuk van Joris van der Paele

Dit hangt in Brugge en heb ik vorig jaar nog gezien
19eeuwse gravure van het schilderij.

Ten eerste is het goed geschilderd en ten tweede zit er in het reliek van Karel de Stoute een referentie naar st. Joris rechts. Het reliek dateert van 1467 en bevindt zich in de tresoor van de kathedraal van Luik. Karel bestelde het als een soort boetedoening voor het geweld tijdens de Bourgondisch-Luikse oorlogen. Ironisch genoeg bevindt het reliek zich in dezelfde kerk waar de Geefs’ Esprit du Mal te zien is, waar de quest mee begonnen is. Dit staat dus ook nog op de to-do-lijst.

Misschien was het niet de bedoeling maar dit blijft toch wel een hoogst angstaanjagend beeldje.


Last Sunday we went on an art field trip to the Netherlands. The Voorlinden museum of contemporary art is a privately owned museum, not far from The Hague. To be completely honest, I only went along because Charles the Bold spent time in the Hague and I wanted to cross this place of my list. I am not super into non-figurative art. We didn’t really go into the city so I am not sure it counts but whatever.

In the museum, which cost an arm and a leg to enter, there were a few artworks by Anselm Kiefer, very large, the colours were interesting but the ideas behind them were quite depressing (WWII nazi crimes and such). Other art was by Louise Bourgeois, of whom I’d never heard before the art history classes we had to take last year. For the rest the museum was filled with a mix of works by miscellaneous contemporary artists (think large blue squares and a room full of old doormats).

Afterwards we went to the beach of Scheveningen. In very short time it got dark and thick fog coverd land and sea, which rendered everything quite spooky. A late Halloween, in other words. I didn’t smell the sea, the only smell was the stench of fried fish and chips and the sound of the rolling waves was drowned by the noise of the casino on the pier.


I have been painting and drawing a lot the past couple weeks but I’m a very slow painter and haven’t finished anything yet. Most of it are small studies and sketches in oil paint, some more of Henry V but also other stuff. I am not going to post them here yet. I have posted bits and pieces on IG, and I have destroyed almost as many as I have made.

As for the quest: our field trip meant a total of five hours in a bus so to pass the time I have been reading the chronicles of Philippe de Commynes, looking for treasure but I only found trash. Almost finished with them.

Been experimenting with digitising old 8mm and super 8 home recordings from the family archives. Not all of them are equally exciting, lol.

The past couple months I have watched a few series and films during breaks and in the evenings: The Crown 3rd season (good and bad bits); a couple episodes of nordic crime (usually good but weird); one quarter of The knight before Christmas (absolutely cringeworthy), Salvation (simple but entertaining), The Arrow (last season is a bit superfluous); Henry V twice (riveting); Het zwaard van Ardoewaan (long past its sell by date ha ha); two episodes of Outlaw King (not very good, mostly due to the strange editing); Midnight Diner (entertaining).

On the list-to-watch: The Tudors; The Medici; The White Queen (my reenactment group were extras in it apparently), Wolf Hall and The King.

Good night, sweet ladies.

Short Update

So far I haven’t finished any real paintings at the academy or at home this autumn. I have produced countless sketches, mostly on A4 paper or smaller, none of them meant to last as none of these pieces of paper were prepared with gesso and they will fall apart after some time, no doubt. Just like we do. I am stalling, I know. Postponing. An empty white canvas is daunting.

I am planning a series of works based on the ballad of Heer Halewijn, which is an interesting and rather gruesome tale.

Some sketches:

Still busy with Charles the Bold research. Read some autopsy reports and an account of Louis XI hemmorrhoids, absolutely captivating. One thing leads to another and I somehow ended up in a 1944 movie based on Shakespeare’s Henry V. Charles the Bold is somewhat related to Henry the V but was born 11 years after the latter’s death. I am trying to get hold of a dvd of the movie but it’s not so simple. Until then I make do with hazy pictures and crappy YT clips. I admit I love overly camp movies. Laurence Olivier has great charisma. Probably would have been a good choice to play the Bold except the Bold never smiled and wasn’t such a smooth speaker.

Anyway, made some rough studies in pencil, artisan and oil:

Spoiler alert: they won.

That’s about it, I guess….

For whom the bells toll

Just an overview of June and the beginning of July. It is about a month ago that I last posted something so a few things have happened since then.

2019 is six months old. The Charles the B quest and artwork have been on the back burner for a while because there was a lot of stuff that had to be done for art school (end of year activities such as the open days, plein air painting etc.), real life (clearing out houses, taxes, etc) and extracurricular activities (reenactment). I have been updating IG with about a picture a day but I haven’t updated the pages of this site yet.

1. Open days

There were many adult students and children graduating from the academy this year. Their exhibition took place in a local museum that has been temporarily emptied for renovation works later on. I didn’t take any photographs of the exhibition, though. It was very hot and crowded during the opening weekend so I didn’t bother.

The open days of the other students took place in their own ateliers. I was there for demo painting on Friday night but didn’t achieve a lot (apart from chatting with friends, Romans and countrymen :/).

The painting atelier. It’s usually not so tidy during the year, but full of pupils, easels and workbenches, etc.

On the hottest day of the year so far we had our yearly “Place du Tertre” event where students (volunteers) sit down at their easels and draw or paint people (volunteers and models) in public. Here is a view from my easel on the square where the museum of the exhibition is located. For privacy reasons no pictures of my drawings or the general public.

The building is the old prison. It looks medieval but it’s not that old. It’s a small museum now.

2. Random things

Too hot to hike but there was a guided tour of the church belfry of the Roman + many other ages church a week ago. It doesn’t happen often and it’s something I wanted to do for quite some time.

The church with the bell tower on the left. You enter the tower via a small door at the bottom.
The first floor can be reached via a narrow spiral staircase.
From one of the windows of the tower one can see the gothic church. Building ended in around 1470 but it was never actually finished as it was intended to be at least 2,3 times as large.
The carillon at the top under the vaulted ceiling. Originally it dates from the first quarter of the 18th century. It can be played automatically or manually.
Counterweight of a clock, one floor down in a side room.
The thing that intrigued me the most was the dark room beneath the counterweights. The floor is sand/dust and what you see is a wooden walkway. It was not accessible.
Interior. I took this during a previous visit.

3. Reenactment

Spent the weekend at Hélécine, at the medieval weekend. My grandparents used to live in a neighbouring village, just a couple miles away, so I know the domain quite well. I didn’t camp there, however. Some pictures made with my phone in a rush, so not great quality.

Castle of Hélécine, not medieval.
Tents (not our group)
More tents
Dudes in armour. Red cross so guess Burgundians
Soupçon de bataille
Battle, removed the visitors as much as I could, hence the strange framing

4. The quest

Not much done. Reading the Hermit book about Charles the Bold, the memoirs of Filips van Komen.


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