Tag: charles the bold

Sunday update – Zero sense of humour

My health has been going up and down this week. I’m a little better but if I don’t pay attention to what I eat, it gets worse again. We had a model class this week. It was ok but it’s not my favourite activity on the whole. Painted many hands and twigs the day before. Also spent time on admin stuff/meetings etc. I’ve briefly returned to Guild Wars 2 to see if my characters were still alive. They were. One of them got a birthday present. Haven’t watched a lot of tv, just the news and a couple episodes of Musketeers. The news was depressing, full of fake news, scaremongering and inane showbiz trivia. The weather reports were mostly wrong. After six the town is cold, wet and deserted.

WIP at home: Made some sketches based on 1920ies film stills earlier this week. Today I worked on Antoine the Big Bastard (that really is his name and title) for the first time in ages. I want to finish him in the coming weeks (the face needs to be dry before I can paint the arrow so I can’t get it done in one week). I put a new layer on the B’s face but I’m still not convinced it is going anywhere. Worked some more on the background of Ilion and put a new layer on the Burgundian comic character (it is uber silly and extremely bad fan art). Brought Louis home because I still need to paint his crown. Didn’t do any work on the larp portrait. “Conceptual” investigations done for a new painting (ie. selected an old picture to start from:/). I also painted the base layer of a new painting. Not sure if that is going to work out. It’s another one for the series For your eyes only. 

I don’t have the feeling I am making any progress with my drawing and painting this year, rather the other way round.

As for Charles the Bold and the Sword quest: I have neglected the research the past weeks. So time to pick it up again. Haven’t started reading the Burgundians book yet but skimmed through the part of the B. No new information but did not really expect that, given the amount of data I have gone through, the past five months. Got to reinvestigate Gideon, I’ve missed something. Still need to find the original source of the boot incident. It is not in Haynin, Marche, Enguerrand or Chastellain, so maybe Commynes. There are also the two volumes of Barante but they’re not contemporary. I must dig up some Italian report I keep finding references to. I am also quite interested in the tactics and army movements of those last battles. Cabanes has some info regarding his mental breakdown and physical deformities I must look into as well. Maybe it is a waste of time, all this. Maybe there is a book Everything you wanted to know about C the B out there, but I haven’t found it yet. Am more and more wondering if I ran into the Bold in a more than casual manner before August but can’t think when or where. Maybe it was my evil twin. With zero sense of humour.

Ramble ramble ramble.

The sword in the stone: In sickness and in health

The past night, long past twelve and buried under the covers, I watched Requiem. In hindsight it wasn’t probably the best idea to watch this in the middle of the night. Also, the ending was not what I expected.

This evening I came across a curious book while I was clearing up some boxes with books from the family archives. It had some portraits of Burgundians in them.

Mary of Burgundy:

And good old Flipje, slightly strange drawing as well:

The title page of the book: Hereditary diseases, roughly translated

The book is basically about heriditary deformities and diseases of the descendants of Charles Quint, but it also contains some information on Charles the Bold and his ancestors. I’m curious if there is something new to learn. At the end of the book there is also a chapter about that dude that Google’s Art & Culture thinks I look like, Charles II.

So, indeed, I haven’t read the book yet but I think it’s safe to say that the conclusion will be: Don’t marry your cousin (too often).

Thursday update: Hugo II

Thursday update on a Saturday:

Still not well at all, so don’t go outside much, let alone Bruges. This post is going to be mostly an info dump.

WIP: depends on how well I feel, so mostly in short bursts. Working on several things at the same time in art school, mostly semi-abstract landscapes and anatomical studies. At home: working on the two Burgundians (new layer on the background), Ilion, and two portraits, including a fictional portrait of Egidius, based on some sketches I made last week. I erased that last one yesterday evening, going to start over from scratch. I have an idea for a new Burgundian painting too. Also, the B’s portrait is driving me mad. The library book which has a good close-up picture of the original is due this week so I have to finish his face the coming days but it’s not going anywhere.

My brother tipped me off on a new book about Burgundians. It’s written by a comedian or something, not sure what it will be like, it supposedly contains a lot of anecdotes. I am quite curious. My brain is already overflowing with anecdotes and useless Burgundian info, to the point that I even know what sort of toothpaste the B used. The local bookshops were already sold out (of the book, not the B’s toothpaste) so I’ll have to be patient until Wednesday. Burgundians are still hot apparently. I forgot the title and the author but it’s got good old Philippe on the cover.

Apart from reading a couple short biographies, I haven’t done any other research regarding “the sword in the stone”on purpose but gathered more info by accident.

When I was researching Egidius, my supposed ancestor, the past couple weeks (see earlier posts) I came across an online version of a medieval chronicle by Enguerrand de Monstrel via a simple online search for a certain d’Oignies (can’t recall his or her first name atm) who appears somewhere in the charts. Enguerrand from above writes about a certain Philippe d’Oignies who fought together with Charles the Bold (and died, nb). There is a footnote about Philippe d’Oignies in Enguerrand: “Some call him Gilles”. Gilles is the French form of Egidius (Also spelled Aegidius). However , though this is interesting and a bizarre coincidence, Philippe and “my” Egidius have nothing to do with one another, they’re not even from the same time period, so there is nothing further to investigate about them for the moment. There is a place with the name Oignies in France and one in Belgium so it’s not yet clear to me which d’Oignies my research subject originates from. I have put the Egidius quest on the back burner at the moment, because I’m stuck.

On Wednesday I popped into the thrift store on my way home from an errand. The novel section contained mostly the same old Twilight/Dan Brown/Fifty shades selection but for the first time in months there was a large supply of new non-fiction books. This resulted in two new additions to my collection. The first one is a catalogue about Lodewijk van Gruuthuuse (1422-1492).

I am not going to explain in detail who LvG is here but you can check Lodewijk van Gruuthuse‘s history on Wikipedia (insert disclaimer for the errors here). The ticket of the exhibition in 1992 where this catalogue was probably originally acquired was still stuck somewhere between the pages.

Gruuthuuse was likely the owner of the manuscript that was named after him and which contains middle Dutch prayers, songs and poems. One of the poems in this manuscript is ‘Egidius waer bestu bleven’.

Another book I came across, probably from the same collection donated to the recycling shop:

I have no idea what it looks like on the inside. It is still covered in plastic. The short description of this book on Bol is not very positive, though, lol.

Yesterday morning, while I was filling some boxes, I absentmindedly leafed through a book from the family collection and came across a bookmark on a page about (the somewhat bizarre imho) Marie d’Oignies. I didn’t know who she was so I looked up some information about her, see link. Note that there are several inaccuracies in the English version of the wiki page. Marie was a 12/th 13th century mystic, connected with the priory of Oignies (B). During my earlier research concerning d’Oignies, I had already come across Hugo d’Oignies. He is not the Hugo of the earlier post, that was the painter Hugo van der Goes. Hugo of Oignies was a renowned 12th/13th century metalworker and jeweler, who crafted many reliquaries. As for time period, this is somewhat later than the time Thierry d’Alsace returned from Constantinople. Not sure if some of it is connected in any way.

Book cover with a self portrait of Hugo (Image: Wikipedia)

Hugo is one of the four brothers that founded the priory of Oignies. One of those brothers was called Gilles de Walcourt, who is not only also called Egidius in places, but seems to have some ties to my original Egidius research too. There are also a number of other odd coincidental links, so more work to be done.

Chalice that supposedly belonged to Gilles de Walcourt (Image: Wikipedia)

The sword in the stone: The hazzards of a duke

This is going to be the first SITS/Duke post after some time. I have put the bigamous woman on the side burner for now. WIP is also for another post (started a new painting)

Over the holidays I have been reading the chronicles of Jean de Haynin, Olivier de la Marche, Chastellain, Molinet and de Comines. I’ve only read snippets of the bigger ones (Chastellain, Comines, several volumes) so far. I have concentrated on the adult years of the Bold (see earlier posts, not doing a recap). It’s quite interesting to read them side by side because they complement each other. One has to bear in mind that the Comines switched sides so his story will be quite biased.

Arles: Olivier de la Marche doesn’t mention anything about the Arles visions but he does talk about Arles and Saint Trophyme which was interesting. Also, according to the chronicles it looks like the B stayed in our town on his way to sack Liège. I must do some further research about this. I also learned something about very strange burial rituals in our region. Must look into that as well.

Other things that struck me: How gory, brutal and pointless wars are. How high the amount of miles these people were able to cover in a day were (without the cannons, though, those were slow), and the amount of travelling they did despite the absence of trains, planes and automobiles. (Charles the Bold was always on the move during his duke days.) How these high-born women were treated like goods or assets, almost like promotions in a shop (If you buy this you get one free – If you marry her you get this or that land or title) and on the other hand how well some of them managed to run their businesses or govern their lands while the men were always away from home, waging their endless wars or being just plain dead. It’s also interesting to read how terrified Olivier de la Marche was of Charles the Bold during those final days. How the B left a trail of mental breakdowns behind him. There was the anecdote about the books but there were some others in the presence of his father. I haven’t come across the boot incident yet.

A summary is for when I am done reading with all of the books. I also have come across some other clues regarding the remains that are interesting enough to look into. That’s for next week or the week after. Durendal and Gideon also have appeared again.

In the meantime here are some more samples of pictures of the B I have collected for my reference library, most of them fantasy portraits made after his death, or based on Rogier’s painting.

I came across two more examples of why you always need to check the sources. While I was looking for more information about a statue that was supposedly Charles the Bold (spoiler alert: it was not) I came across a twenty year old newspaper article about the theft of a wooden statue of St George in a church near Beernem. It said the statue dated from the 15th century and had the face of the Charles the Bold. There was no picture of the statue included and it took me some time to find it, on a website of Bruges.

Zooming in on the face, it’s clear that this is not the B but Philip the Fair. It says so in the description of the picture too so the reporter just sucked on his thumb, I guess (local expression for making things up). Or maybe I am wrong and this is not the stolen picture after all.

An engraving of the B in armour:

Another – low quality – print of a portrait, (not sure when and by whom it was made):

Charles the Bold when he was 9. Apparently this is a contemporary portrait drawing (museum of Arnhem). He looks about three or four in this, though.

This is not the Bold, but an engraving of a painting by Jan van Eyck which looks nothing like the original painting, so that’s why I included it. But note that this St George probably inspired the reliquary commissioned by the B that is now in Liège.

Also another thing I was looking for: a picture of the tomb of the B, taken from above.

And an engraving of the Bruges tomb from a book of the 19th century, when it was in another location in the church:

And my favourite thrift store find of last month, a book with large, good quality reproductions of Jean-Léon Huens’s totally underrated illustrations for the history of Belgium. There was only one volume of the three but never mind. I think the original pictures date from the 50ies or 60ies and people could collect them on small cards via tokens on coffee, flour and other packages of household stuff. (My pictures are not good, it’s quite dark in my work room atm)

That’s all for now.

Dead ends

Melencolia I by Albrecht Dürer

The past week I have not been well at all, and did not go out much. I’ve spent several days travelling back and forth between 1473 and 1667 AD, researching the gaps in the lives of two separate persons. There are not many online documents to consult, certainly not before 1600, and what I’ve found is incomplete, eaten by rodents, not accurate or just plain wrong, because people who wrote the information down didn’t double check facts or even thought logically (it seems very unlikely to me that an elderly – illegitimate child and all – priest would have a go at jousting, e.g.). I have ended up in many dead alleys and it’s very frustrating. At the same time definitely getting better at deciphering 17th century manuscripts in Latin.

As for the research on the B, I have finished the chronicles of Jean de Haynin on Christmas day and am now reading Olivier de la Marche’s memoires. It’s a scan of a 19th century edition, in old French that’s not too hard to understand. Halfway through the third volume of four so far.

Art project is also not going according to plan. I have finished the miniatures and am putting the book together. I smeared most of the glue and paint in my hair, made a couple big stains in the book and cut my hand, so far not so good. I just saw some cakes that were better painted on the internet so I am ready to throw the book out of the window. Maybe the Righteous Judges in miniature format was a bit too ambitious.

Some creepy nightmares, my brain warning me to take it easy. It will all fall into place, I’m sure, just not now.

Couple samples of gouache/ink/watercolour paintings:

Nicolas Rolin and a dragon.
More or less copied from a prayer book of the B.


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