Woodcut from the Nanceidos, a 16th century book about the battle of Nancy. Found it online somewhere.

Just an update on the Bold this time. For the pretty/funny  pictures I refer to the Chicken site. Link on the right. [I wasn’t really planning on publishing this post today but I hit the wrong button apparently, so here goes… I am still updating this, though]. This is a work in progress.

First a follow-up on the two movies Le miracle des loups.

It seems there is a fictional novel by Walter Scott, Quentin Durward, in which the Bold plays a role.  Somebody uploaded a 7-part tv series with the same name on YouTube. I try to watch it every now. It’s in French but they speak fairly slowly. Also, major disappointment, the tv series The Bold and the Beautiful has nothing to do with Charles the Bold.

Reading pile

The latest addition to the Burgundian reading pile is consists of a many-hand bio of Louis XI –  his arch enemy -, a book in good condition about the history of Bruges and a worn book about the history of Burgundy. The French region, not the wine. I draw the line there.  I haven’t had time to read them as I am trying to keep up with NaNoWriMo in the evenings.

Tracking the remains

The past couple days I have been trying to track the remains of the Bold. Oddly enough, none of the books I have read so far seem to have the complete information so I am reconstructing it from various sources, mostly Wikipedia and other online sources to start with. I’ll correct them as I go along. I will add this to the relevant page. It’s one of main objectives of the quest so I want to devote enough time to this.

In the winter of 1476-77 – being the stupid and reckless little shithead he was – the Bold kept attacking the French and the Swiss. On the 5th of January 1477, majorly overpowered, he was killed in the battle of Nancy by a half deaf, half blind soldier who didn’t recognise him. According to the code of war kings and leaders were usually not killed but captured for ransom money. So he had a bit of bad luck or met his well deserved fate, depending on your point of view.

Charles fell from his horse, shouted who he was but the soldier misunderstood him and split his head in two. C was basically reduced to mincemeat because when he was found he had multiple wounds apart from his split skull. I read somewhere that the soldier who didn’t recognise him died a few months later because of remorse, but that’s just a legend, I suppose.

A couple days after the chaotic battle C still hadn’t turned up in his camp so they went looking for him. The soldier who had last seen him alive led a search party to the borders of a lake near Nancy. They finally found him a little apart from the other dead bodies. The bold’s body was lying face down at the edge of the lake, his face frozen to the ground. He was stripped of all his clothes and belongings and was identified by a number of characteristics, including his missing front teeth, several old scars including the one on his throat from the battle of Montléry, a wound in the groin, ingrown toe nail and his long nails.  He was said to have been partially eaten by wolves but that’s probably also a legend.

He was brought to a house in Nancy. They dressed him in a white satin shirt and a red satin coat (other source says they put a red velvet cloth over his face and put him on a black bed of state. On both sides were two seats for heralds and in the four corners seats for servants holding burning torches. The body remained there for six days. Even if he had been a bitch to many people including his own half-brothers, there were enough tears apparently

he next Sunday he was buried in a fir coffin in the St Sebastian chapel of St George church at Nancy (the church is no longer there).

His wife and daughter only learned after a month or so that he was dead, by the way.

He was exhumed on 22 September 1550 (I also saw 24 somewhere) by Christina of Denmark by request of Charles V, his great grandson.  The remains were brought from Nancy to Luxemburg where they stayed at the convent of the Minderbroeders. In 1553 the remains were brought to Bruges.

On the 7th June of 1553 they were placed in the vault of his daughter.

In 1563 he got his own tomb next to Mary’s.

During the French Revolution the tombs were damaged and plundered. His remains were probably lost (I presume it was a skeleton by then).

In 1806 both tombs were reconstructed somewhere else in the church.

In 1979 the floor of the church was dug up and the tombs were removed and reconstructed in the original place. Mary’s skeleton was found and identified but that of Charles was not there.

There are two additional elements that I found in other places:

Firstly, usually in those times the intestines are removed and placed in little boxes or other more fancy containers to keep at home (this is something that has always fascinated me). I read in a book that Charles’ intestines remained at Nancy. Doesn’t say where and how, so must check this.

Secondly, I read somewhere but I can’t remember where, that the remains that were taken to Bruges weren’t those of Charles to begin with as that body still had all its front teeth. Apparently when they opened the coffin in Nancy, the remains were in ad condition and just a big mess. They could be from his chamberlain, Jean de Rubempré, who also died at Nancy. Must check this but it’s late and I’ve got other work to do.

Maybe he is a DNR (Do Not Resurrect).

Oh my, those ER Hughes paintings are still haunting me…



Quick update

Just a quick update.


Took the Bold and the rest of the WIP to another location with less distractions and better light. Currently working on (apart from the art school assignments):

Two small studies of hands with reflecting objects
Small study of a suit of armour (trying to figure out which parts go where)
A small painting of Louis IX,
Antoine with the arrow (through his head)
Cristo sin rostro
The battle of Ilion (working title):   miniature/Bosch.Breugel style painting on canvas for a change. Made some quick studies just to get the hang of it and test out colour schemes. The figures are slightly adapted woodcuts from an old book. See below for the sketches.
The study of Charles is done but I haven’t done anything about the panel yet.


The Rebis quest: still progressing well, suprisingly.


Other things:

Bought another sword, this time it’s a decorative sabre from the thrift store auction site. It doesn’t have a name yet.

Remodified an old velvet jacket from a major chain store because the sleeves were too short. Work done quite a long time ago: other buttons and sleeves slit open to insert some purple satin with a pattern. Work done now: added some fur on the sleeves.  It was supposed to look Italian but it’s more Burgundian in hindsight, especially the colours.

Fancy belt with fake precious stones: thrift store. Necklace with bird’s foot that can be put over one’s finger: Prague (it was a gift – don’t have one of those ridiculously garish gold chains unfortunately). Decorative dagger from a weapon/tourist shop in Carcassonne. The sabre goes well with it too as it came with a scabbard covered with purple velvet.  I am not sure if Burgundian Goth is a subgenre of medieval goth. If not, then it is now.


Back to Ilion: I’m having a go at a painting with many small characters, sort of Bosch/Breugel/miniature type. I have made some preliminary large scale sketches, just to have drawn them at least once and for testing colours. I took these pictures quite late in the evening so colours are off.

The canvas (40×40 I think)

Separate studies of the scenes:

This escalated quickly:

O yes, I’ve also been studying medieval saddles, they look strange.

That’s it for now.


Evening song


It’s All Hallow’s Eve. I don’t do Halloween. Halloween is not for the wicked and the heroes.

I’m deep down in Hades, sailing across the Acheron. I’ve killed the ferryman and stolen his boat. He wasn’t too pleased.

Behind me I can hear his stranded passengers wailing, but I can’t help them. There are no refunds in Hell.

It’s so dark in here I can’t see where I’m going. Seventeen told me to come prepared but I forgot to bring a torch. And a coat. There are so many things I forget nowadays. My head hurts, even in the afterlife.

The boat thuds against a rock close to the  left bank and refuses to budge. This must be the end of the ride. I jump out of the boat and find myself in a huge cave. A soft phosphorescent glow illuminates the sandy path ahead, leading deeper into the abyss. I look around me. It’s been a very long time since the last time I was here and everything has changed.

I look down at my legs. I am wearing a hauberk and soft red leather boots.  I am no longer Theseus, in scale mail armour and sandals. I don’t know who I am now.

In my left hand I hold a mirror. I heard there is a lady down here with a crown of writhing snakes and a deadly gaze. I will not let her suprise me.

It’s so cold in here, and so quiet. And yet I think I’m not alone. When I look into the mirror, a ghost stares back at me. That makes two of us.

Twelve is just as confused as I am. but he is speechless. The dead can only beg with their hollow eyes.

I weigh the sabre in my left hand. I haven’t used it yet. Will it be enough to kill the Dragon? Time will tell.

Literally, because Kronos is the one I need to kill to release a restless soul. It’s as it should be, written down in the script centuries ago.

Seventeen showed me the lines, neatly penned down by his steady hand, in gold ink, in his huge bejweled ledger. There is no way around it.

But I do not really want to slay Eleven.

What shall I do now?

What shall I do….?

What shall I do…?

From J Bosch – Temptation of St Anthony




Zadelpijn (taking a break)

Alexander the Great taming Boukefalos

Ik kruip een poosje uit het zadel, figuurlijk gesproken dan. Ik kan namelijk geen paardrijden.

De komende maand(en) hebben we een paar nieuwe projecten die veel tijd in beslag zullen nemen,  de lessen aan de academie gaan nog altijd verder en er liggen al heel lang een stapel kostuum- en propprojecten en kunstprojecten klaar. Ik weet nog niet of ik aan NaNoWriMo ga meedoen. Ik zit in Azoth namelijk nog altijd ergens op de Mont St Michel, dat boek moet dringend af.  En dan is er nog al de rest. Ik zal niet veel tijd hebben om de blog regelmatig te updaten en bovendien heb ik geen idee wat ik er precies mee wilde bereiken, buiten een hoop onzin neerschrijven dan.  Ik heb de site vooral opgezet als portfolio en al die zijprojecten horen hier eigenlijk niet thuis. De energie die ik erin stop is niet meer gelijk aan het plezier dat ik er uithaal. Het was wel leuk maarre…. enzovoort.

Ik blijf waarschijnlijk nog een hele poos in Bourgondië rondhangen want ik heb het idee dat ik nog maar een  stukje van de oppervlakte heb weggeschraapt. En voor de rest hard werken aan de vaardigheden.


Update 17.10.18 (gisteren wat aanmeldproblemen op mijn site): Nu de lokale bib weer open is heb ik daar drie tamelijk grote zware boeken opgepikt:

Ik heb ze al snel even doorbladerd.

Het boek over van der Weyden is vooral interessant omdat ik zelf alleen een kleine catalogus heb en voor de rest verspreide portretten in andere schilderboeken. Er staan ook een paar goede details van schilderijen in. Het portret van Antoine staat er groot in, maar is net als het origineel erg donker. Het gezicht hebben ze wat kunstmatig opgelicht, denk ik. Het heeft een rare kleur.

Het boek over Karel de Stoute is interessant omdat er een hoop harnassen, zwaarden, gulden vlieskettingen en andere parafernalia  in afgebeeld staan die je ergens anders meestal niet terugvindt. Handig als referentiemateriaal.

De Bourgondische vorsten 1315-1530 is op het eerste gezicht niet zo’n geweldig boek (ik kwam meteen al een paar – volgens mij – fouten tegen maar er staat een echt hele goeie close-up van Karels portret in, de beste die ik voorlopig al ben tegengekomen. Werkt iets makkelijker dan van een scherm.

Het tapijt is niet Bourgondisch maar ligt toevallig onder de boeken.


De pagina’s van het vaste menu bovenaan blijf ik sowieso nog wel updaten wanneer er tijd is.  In de rechterkolom bovenaan kun je zien welke pagina’s ik het laatst heb bijgewerkt.

Verder post ik waarschijnlijk af en toe iets op mijn andere website (de Chickensite) . Meer dan een gek of interessant prentje en een lijntje info is dat niet, dat vraagt ook niet veel energie.

Zijn er nog vragen? Nee?

Goed, zo. Bedankt en tot ziens in elk geval.


Sunday update – Philippe

The update of the small Philippe de Croÿ after a van der Weyden is done, it was just a study anyway.  He’s literally still wet behind the ears  at the moment.

There is a big change from the earlier version: the black stuff left of him and on his neck. This symbolises the hatred that Charles of Burgundy felt for him and which is going to devour him eventually

(In reality I accidentally smudged black paint from his jacket all over his neck so I made it look like it was on purpose.)

The sketchbook in which I started working halfway through July is full. Good, now I can choose one with better paper. The last three drawings are another version of Rolin and two preparatory sketches for art school assignments.

Some time of the afternoon was spent creating a pattern for a Renaissance style hat which I had already started last spring but then we had a heatwave and there was not much enthusiasm for warm hats. I came to the conclusion that I don’t have any felt lying around so the real execution will be for another day.