The sword in the stone – Gold cups and red kings

It’s a curse.
Mend my troubled soul.

[Stole this quote from (the unintentionally hilarious) Knightfall. Quite befitting in the context of this post, even though it was uttered by a templar about to enter the holy lands of a voluptuous woman.]

1. WIP

Artwork in progress: still the same apart from a new modern martyr and miniature of a suit of armour in art school.

2. Research about the Bold’s crypto and other portraits

On Monday I traded my library books about van der Weyden and the Bold for some other books, more in particularly another one about Rogier, one about Michael Cocxcie and two about Jan van Eyck. Poor Hubert is rarely mentioned. I also checked some clues about Memling in a book I didn’t take home, mostly because it made my pile to heavy. I just took a picture of the relevant page:

The article mentioned that somebody thought the third apostle on the left of Christ was Philip the Good but the author says it looks more like his son. Side by side, he looks like the spitting image but I already mentioned this. Note that when I say Memling it could also mean his workshop

With the Columba altarpiece (see pages and earlier posts), where the red king is supposed to be a crypto of the Bold, the date is problematic. The red king looks a bit too old in relation to the age of C at the time, plus he doesn’t have that rather obvious double chin, folds near the corners of his mouth, big staring eyes and frown of the couple contemporary portraits. 

There are three other candidates for a crypto portrait, basically three versions of the same painting. I also found this partially in the book about Memling but did some additional comparing. There is the Jan Floreins triptych (dated 1479) and an almost the same painting which hangs in the Prado (dated 1470), plus a third similar but not quite the same painting by an unknown painter from a bit later.

In 1893 a certain Wauters said the king on the left in the Floreins/Prado painting is a crypto of the Bold, but this was debunked by somebody else in 1899.

Why whould anyone have thought it was a crypto? Well, here are the paintings, in the presumed order of creation, followed by details, so you can judge for yourselves. For the record: The Bold was born at the end of 1433 and had dark, thick and straggly hair. Not sure about a moustache or dimple in his chin. Nb, look very closely at the one by the unknown painter, not just at the king on the right, but also the black king. Same stance and overcoat as the red king in the Columba altarpiece by Rogier but that’s it, none of the other features.

The Prado Adoration of the Magi by Memling (workshop) (around 1470):

The Adoration of the Magi by an anonymous painter (around 1475):

The Floreint triptych by Memling (workshop) (around 1479):

Here are the heads of the three kings, the middle one is mirrored:

And all three mirrored so they can be compaired with the Berlin portrait:

For completeness sake, here are two other portraits: one of the relic holder which was ordered by Charles, and the face from his tomb effigy which was created a very long time after his death (all images from Wikipedia).

Maybe I shouldn’t spend so much time on this, but it’s quite interesting to see how the Middle Ages had their own versions of stock images and no worries about copyright at all.

I was going to add something about the research about Charles of Burgundy’s mad behaviour after 1472 but this post is already too long, so that’s for a next post.

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