This is an updated/reworked version of the original post, dated 08.09.2018
In the past years I’ve drawn and painted a number of versions of the portraits of Anthony of Burgundy and Philippe de Croy by Rogier van der Weyden.
When I was struggling with Philippe’s portrait a couple years ago, I decided to take painting lessons at the local art school, literally a stone’s throw away. I know now that my mistake was that I tried to paint those portraits with acrylic paint.
Anyway, right after our trip to Bruges (see earlier post), I was browsing through Wikipedia looking for a Primitive painting to copy as an exercise and I came across a portrait of Charles, the half-brother of Anthony, also painted by van der Weyden. I realised that a) I had never painted him as part of the series and b) I could not remember much about those days from my history lessons at school and uni. The lessons were always utterly boring, just endless, meaningless lists of dates and names, dry as cinnamon. After quickly refreshing my memory on the ever untrustworthy internet, I decided to dig a little deeper in other sources. All I wanted was to compare a few portraits before I wasted a panel but the little hole quickly became a giant pit and the pile of books I gathered from here and there became bigger and bigger. The original text of this post isn’t relevant anymore. It’s a pretty grim story.
So, next to painting the portrait(s) in the coming months, I am going on a road trip in my hand-dug dark pit. I’ve already booked a tour guide ( and no, it’s not Virgil :).
[A drawing by Gustave Doré for Dante’s Divina Commédia (Source: Wikimedia)]
“It is another path that you must take,”
he answered when he saw my tearfulness,
“if you would leave this savage wilderness;
Those who want to know more about it, know where to find me.
First test sketch: