It has been a while since I posted anything Burgundian related, so here is a small recap of what has been keeping me busy for the past three years (apart from painting and other non-Burgundian activities).
- Jean Rolin: I am trying to write a short biography of Jean Rolin, grandson of Nicolas Rolin. There is a partial biography on Wikipedia but I am busy verifying and correcting facts. The more I discover the bigger the mystery becomes. The covid restrictions have made in depth research rather difficult. There is already a draft version on the relevant page. Contact me for the password in case you are interested.
- The portrait of Charles the Bold: As I want to paint a more realistic portrait of Charles the Bold based on the portrait by Rogier van der Weyden I have tried to gather more information from the biographies. I have already added a draft version on the relevant page. This document is not protected by a password.
- The character of Charles the Bold: What brings one of the richest and most powerful men of the time to commit virtual suicide on the battlefield? I got interested in this after I refreshed my memory about his life before starting on the portrait.
- The Battle of Nancy: There are several versions of the way Charles the Bold died during the battle of Nancy. I have been trying to separate truth from legend. It’s not easy after almost 550 years.
- The corpse: There are no bones in the tomb of Charles the Bold in the Church of Our Lady at Bruges. It is even rumoured that the bones never made it to Bruges. I am trying to reconstruct the story of the burial and the journey of the bones.
- The Master of Moulins: I am trying to find links between the Master of Moulins/Jean Hey and Hugo van der Goes and other artists at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century.
- Antoine the Bastard of Burgundy: Antoine, Charles illegitimate half-brother was as adventurous as that of Charles. He travelled to farther places and was often at his brother’s side during the major battles. Unfortunately there are no extensive biographies of Antoine, as far as I know.
- Swords & Sorcery: A number of well-know relics such as the Holy Blood and the Shroud of Turin played a role in the Burgundian history, as well as other relics I am researching.
- The signifcant others: I am researching Charles the Bold’s companions, male and female, and try to find out how much influence they had on him.
- Alchemy: I am investigating the claims that Jan van Eyck was an alchemist. What seemed like a somewhat ridiculous and speculative hypothesis has turned into quite an interesting investigation down some very dark corridors.
- Burgundian Booty: Charles the Bold lost a large amount of very valuable items. I am investigation the interesting items such as his lucky diamond and his famous yellow hat and try to find how many of them survived.
- Anecdotes: I am collecting a number of amusing or interesting anecdotes about Charles the Bold. This requires a lot of ploughing through old books.
Apart from the intellectual work mentioned above, I am doing some physical research, i.e. I try to visit battlefields and other places that are Burgundian related. I stick mostly to Charles the Bold’s years, otherwise it is too much work. With Covid this has almost come to a standstill, especially with a travel ban looming over our heads.
To be continued.