Tag: burgundians

The Sword in the Stone: Louis, Louis, Louis


I am not really stuck with the quest but the part about Gideon two weeks before I ran into the fleece kept bugging me. After retracing my steps to the moment the roadsign with Gideon appeared in the summer of 2018 and checking the picture, not finding anything new and interesting (see older posts), I decided to go back in time and place, a mere few minutes earlier, when we were inside the cathedral St. Cécile at Albi, which was maybe 50, 70 metres away from the river. I don’t like loose ends and this one was still dangling.

I did something I had not done, ie. look at the photographs I took inside the church once more with a different eye, and this time also do some research about the history of the church in the second half of the 15th century.

The dominant decoration is a large medieval fresco of The Last Judgement. It shows medieval men and women being tortured by demons and the way to heaven and more of that sort of apocalyptic stuff the medieval people and the contemporary media are quite fond of.

The middle scene of the Judgement is missing, it was destroyed centuries ago to create a doorway. It possibly showed Christ in heaven and maybe St Michael weighing souls. Some articles I read mentioned that the Last Judgement painting of Rolin at Beaune was an inspiration for the Albi one but a certain professor Durliat claims it was more likely inspired by a receuil of 1492, published by Antoine Vérard, a Parisian printer. The first theory is interesting because it is a direct link with the quest. However, I don’t see many obvious similarities between the paintings. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article by Durliat nor the receuil that is mentioned but interestingly enough Vérard also printed versions of The cent nouvelles nouvelles and Le chevalier délibéré, two manuscripts I’ve run into before and which are directly linked with the Burgundians. But that is a trivial link.

Some articles state the Judgement was painted somewhere around 1474, another article dates the fresco around 1500. No real certain date in any case, it would have taken some time to paint anyway.

The photographs I took of The Last Judgment didn’t reveal anything new but in the history of the church and the painting I found some unexpected links to the quest (though most of them not very crucial for the main quest at this moment, I must admit).
I am not going to retell the whole history of Albi cathedral, built between 1282 and 1480. It can easily be found online. I’ll just describe the two men that were involved with the church and the fresco and that are part of the period I’m researching (1433-1477). These men were Louis I of Amboise and his nephew Louis II of Amboise.

A short summary with relevant facts based on several articles I found on the internet, and which I will update when I discover new facts:

1. Louis I of Amboise

Louis I of Amboise was born in the the castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire (which we saw from outside last summer (but did not enter unfortunately – castle overdose that day).

He was born in 1433, the same year as Charles the Bold. His history is linked with the king of France and the wars with Burgundy, he also conducted negotiations in January 1477 when Burgundy was annexed by France after the death by Charles the Bold. He was a witness at the marriage of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne on 7 January 1499. Anne de Bretagne is also part of the quest and I’ve ran into her in different circumstances years ago, in part I of the quest, so interesting trivia.

Louis died in Lyon somewhere between 1503 and 1505, so long after Charles the Bold.

I am going to try and dig up information about him in my personal library but currently I’m more interested in his nephew:

2. Louis II of Amboise

Louis was the son of Charles I of Amboise, brother of Pierre, Louis I’s father. I got a bit lost in the family relations so take it with a grain of salt for now. He was born in the castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire in 1477, the same year Charles the Bold died, or maybe a bit later according to some sources (again, I will try to find out more about him in my personal library).

I couldn’t find a portrait of Louis II online, but I did find a portrait of his brother, Charles II of Amboise by Andrea Solari. Ironically I have had this portrait in my medieval reference portrait folder for ages and often use it as a reference, without really having done any research about it. So it’s quite odd there is more to it than just a pretty picture. I have no idea if the brothers resembled each other.

The link with Burgundy is clear: on 9 August 1501 Louis II is appointed bishop of Autun, of which I am also researching that period, as mentioned before.

His bishopry or whatever it is called, doesn’t last long. In 1503 Louis II returns to Albi. He dies in Italy in 1511.  I have to look into his period at Autun because he is a major direct link with one of my subquests. I want to find out what his contacts were and how he ended up there. Also, I have a feeling there are a few links in the Amboise part of the story that I haven’t discovered yet. But that is not going to happen today.


About a week after our stay in the Tarn, we tagged along with relatives on a trip to Bruges because they wanted to visit an exhibition about WWI. It was summer and very crowded so after the exhibition we had lunch, and afterwards just wandered around. Apart from a short visit to the Saint Salvator cathedral and the Holy Blood chapel where I took a couple random pictures, we didn’t really visit or look at anything in particular. Charles the Bold was not in the picture, literally. The stained glass windows of the Holy Blood chapel turned out to be overexposed, it is not allowed to photograph the relic and we didn’t set foot in the Church of our Lady where the tombs are. The rest of the few pictures I took were just of streets full of tourists and the Jerusalem church from the outside. The tower behind the houses:

The Jerusalem church is interesting and there are links with the Dukes, but not quite in a way that it would help me with the quest at the moment. But I’m keeping it in the back of my head.

We also didn’t visit the Groeninge museum where the painting by van Eyck with van der Paele and Saint George is, as we were in a group, it was late and everybody was tired. But I remembered Durendal, hidden away in a random picture of some buildings at Rocamadour and reminded myself it’s all in the eye of the beholder, you just have to find it when it wants to be found.

All items in this quest seem to consist of three parts. If week one was Gideon and week three was the Bold, the Fleece had to have been present in one form or another in week two as well. I went through the pictures again

And this time I found it.

There it was, the Golden Fleece. Above the entrance of the Gruuthuusemuseum, the home of Louis of Gruuthuuse, knight of the golden fleece. I can’t believe I have not noticed it before. Louis is a major figure in the quest too but I have not really been busy with him.

On top of that, it’s the third Louis in this chain.

Plus est en vous: There is more in you.

Sounds like an invitation.

The museum was still closed the times I was in Bruges, so a third trip is in order. But first Corona has to disappear. It’s quite ironic. Charles the Bold was desperately longing for a crown and I am trying to avoid it at all cost.

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.

Burgundian wish list

On my current (achievable, so nothing like a prayer book manuscript, a signed and sealed letter or original Golden Fleece documents) Burgundian book/document wish list:

Objectif Ducs – comic that has Burgundians and people riding boars. Not sure if it is available in the local shops. Can’t drive all the way to Dijon the coming few weeks for this :/. Probably have to order it online.
Which reminds me, I’m adding a better background to Charles riding the boar.

This really beautifully illustrated vintage book about my virtual boss and the B’s enemy, Louys XI. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s quite pricey. There is a scanned copy on BnF, however, so you can easily read it online:

Going by the messy hair and the fancy outfit, the man in the gold armour must be Charles. Louis was usually dressed in rags.

And this rather intriguing and slightly hilarious looking book/comic?: Le grand amour de Charles le Téméraire. Not sure if they mean by “amour” fighting or Henry.

Image from livre.com

Henry Beaufort

Henry Arthur Payne – Plucking the red and the white rose… (1910)

It’s quite a good day to talk about a man whose last name is Beaufort, with the storm raging around us. Here are some random facts, mostly from the internet and I haven’t yet verified them, so they could be wrong. In that case I’ll correct them later on.

Henry Beaufort (26 January 1436 – 15 May 1464), 3rd Duke of Somerset, was a good friend of Charles the Bold.  As a side note, he was also related to Charles the Bold via John of Gaunt. They had some very pleasant meetings together and Charles did Henry many favours. So much in fact, that I found descriptions of their relationship ranging from very good friends to Charles being madly in love with him. I have no idea if the feelings were mutual, but Henry had a mistress and a son, named Charles. Yeah, well,… shit happens, I guess.

According to Wikipedia Georges Chastellain described him as ”  “un très grand seigneur et un des plus beaulx josnes chevaliers qui fust au royaume anglais” i.e being a very great gentleman and one of the most handsome young knights in England. I haven’t found this passage in Chastellain yet but he has written many, many words.

Unfortunately I can’t find any portraits of Henry, just of his father and his younger brother Edmund who was also treated favourably by Charles the Bold. I suppose Henry would have looked a bit like them. Here they are:

Edmund, Henry’s father, on the left
Edmund the brother, in a most unfortunate position

The story doesn’t end with a ‘they lived long and happily ever after because Henry got beheaded when he was 28 years old and Edmund in 1471 when he was in his early thirties.

I wonder if there’s a painting in this?

Fool’s Gold

Gisant of the tomb of Philippe le Hardi, Dijon (picture: family archives)

My study, where I used to do research, has become such a mess lately with old and new paintings, books, swords, and other weapons and all sorts of stuff from my childhood home that I had to store temporarily somewhere, that I have not used it at all the past six months.

So this week, spring cleaning in mind, I just painted a couple hours each day, mostly studies and sketches, and spent the rest of the time tidying up. Unfortunately I keep running into interesting things such as footnotes and bookmarks in books that are worth investigating. As such, cleaning up it’s taking a lot longer than I originally intended. Plus I have come across an even greater archive online that I want to sort through, including a few gigabytes of Burgundy-related stuff. It’s all connected somehow and it’s driving me crazy.

The update of this site will have to wait for another few days.

And I’m still looking for that wretched boot.


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