Tag: burgundians

Nancy and the Fallen Prince

The picture in this video is a portrait by Titian of Charles Quint, the great grandson of Charles the Bold, btw.

Activities of the past days:

a) Had a bad reaction to the tetanus booster so I was incapacitated for three days. Condition is slowly improving now. Bingewatched tons of Finnish detective series.

b) Spent time on my own detective work. Read some more articles about Charles the Bold. Conclusion: everybody hated him. Some compared him to Lucifer, the fallen angel. The Bold fell too, in the end, quite literally, from his horse, on the battlefield before Nancy in 1477.

c) Threw away a large number of old bad paintings

d) Spent some time going through old parish records. Around 1750, one of my ancestors from around Liège went to get married in a French village somewhere west of Nancy. I’m quite curious about the how and why and how he met his future wife but as I don’t have a time machine, I’ll never know the truth. It’s also interesting that it was close to the Woëvre forest, where Dagobert II was assassinated. But Dagobert, though linked to the quest, is a completely different story.


Update: Soup

Helios and Phaeton by Nicolas Poussin

The day started well. When we were cleaning up the mouldy rubbish in the cellar of my parents, I stepped in a rusty nail and had to go get an update of my tetanus vaccination.

Yesterday I worked on my Brexit and Oscar paintings but I’m not very happy with the result. At this point, I’m not sure if there is any point in creating more useless art. There is too much of it everywhere already. It’s probably more useful to save stray cats and the bees.

Brexit in progress. It has progressed further than this but I have no picture of it.

I painted some more sketches in oil paint on unprepared brown paper, which is not a very good idea and they will not last. Here is a sample of an unfinished one, not very well photographed.

From an old video

Henry is still on my plate. I think it’s not just the images that caught my eye, but also the theatrical, campy, elegant way LO moves. Unfortunaly that is not something one can capture in a drawing or a painting (e.g. 1.27 and after):

From Henry V (1944 version)

I found another classic movie in the local recycling shop.

I have retrieved Charles from storage, because he’s only half done. Not sure if I should continue or start all over again.

Came across more reference images. Here is one of them:

Another portrait of CtB I came across, also in a book presentation. He looks about 8 or 10.

The quest is going well but I have so many leads to follow I don’t know where to start. Also, I have found a remarkable stone but I don’t know what to do with it yet. It doesn’t prevent stepping in rusty nails, unfortunately.

I can still call my quest the quest of the sword because Charles the Bold had a rather fancy magical sword. It originally belonged to his father Philip, and was customised for him and afterwards looted by the Swiss, I suppose. However, I don’t have to look for this sword, it is not hidden. It is in a museum and quite out of my reach.

What I really need to find, though, is his cold, dead, shrivelled heart.


Fine dramatic personalities

The past few evenings I binge watched Knightfall season 2. Ignore the Imdb score, season 2 is even better than season 1. Not exactly historically accurate but extremely entertaining nonetheless.

The past couple months I’ve spent most of my art time at home preparing my book with ideas and sketches for art school. Can’t show any of that yet (academy policy). But this week I have started work on the Burgundian paintings again at home.

Background music currently playing: the Unicorn ensemble with Rosa das rosas.

Gilles is a dead end but the Jacques are intriguing. Their coat of arms could be a lead.

(Re-)discovered an extra source of medieval inspiration, somewhat predating – or postdating as it’s based a play by the Bard – Charles the Bold: Henry V in superscope, aka Laurence Olivier rocking a bowl cut. Here is the link on YouTube:

In Superscope!


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.


The Sword in the Stone: Brugge III

The last one about Bruges, just random stuff connected to the Dukes.

After the tombs, I went to the museum (see Brugge I), where I spent quite some time looking at the paintings and some more time in the shop looking at all the weird touristy objects. By the time I was done, I was thirsty and hungry so I had a snack and a coffee which are not difficult to come by. After that I went to the basilica of the Holy Blood. I was just in time for the opening of the doors of the chapel at 1400 hours, which meant this time I was also able to witness the small ceremony when the blood is brought out.

The Blood wasn’t my main goal but as I was there anyway, I queued up to have another look at it. As I wrote last August, it is not allowed to take pictures of the Holy Blood. I also seem to have misplaced the leaflet I got, which has some info.

This time I managed to spot the dukes in the main part of the chapel, on the not so old stained glass windows. It took a bit of experimenting with the settings of the camera to take a decent picture, and avoid the glare of the sun. The B is quite far away as well. He is pictured with his second wife, not the third, for some reason.

And these are Maximillian and Mary of Burgundy. Well I suppose, it’s them, they definitely look like them in any case:

Then I went down to the old St. Basil chapel underneath. There were no relics on show, so a magical sword is still out of the question.

After that I did ‘the Burgundian walk’ I found on the internet, more or less anyway. I ended up in the Prinsenhof where the Dukes had their residence in the city. Now, from what I gather it is a big hotel and a smaller hotel on the side. The buildings look new to me, but then a lot in Bruges is not as old or as old as it looks. According to the info on the website the Karel de Stoute hotel is located where his old town house was, it’s a hard to tell, though.

The somewhat ridiculous The Dukes Palace (not sure what public they’re aiming at):

And the smaller Karel de Stoute:

Then I wandered around a bit until it was time for my train.


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