Category: General

A coronation

I’m almost through with cleaning and sorting out the files on one computer, but I have another one left to do next week. While I was doing this I came across pictures (not my own, but from the family archives) of paintings in the Viennese Gemaldegalerie.

One of those paintings seems interesting enough to have a closer look at. On the information notice of the museum it is listed as the Coronation of the Virgin by Dieric Bouts, dated around 1450. The pictures are not very good, but even the quality of the one below I found on the museum’s website is not very good:

What first caught my attention was the face and posture of the third angel from the left.

Something with the angels on the right side seems a little off. I want to do some comparisons with other Bouts paintings.

The third person of interest to me is the bearded man on the right.

It’s tempera, not oil, by the way.

I didn’t know this painting (or maybe I have seen it but don’t remember, last time I was in Vienna I was 2 :/). I can not find a lot of information about it online right now, but it’s late and I don’t want to go search for my Bouts book. I’ll see how far I get tomorrow.


Knockdown diary

I haven’t posted anything in ages, nothing about Charles the Bold, and nothing about anything else. Here is a short summary.

Corona is still active. In fact we’re at the start of a second wave, even before the first one ended. No Future is more accurate now than it was in the seventies, if you ask me. The year keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Still house/castle hunting. It got even more adventurous than it was already, but we’re still in the process of preparing our second offer so I won’t write about it today.

We caught a mouse in our kitchen. The cat brought the mouse in, but it escaped and hid behind the cabinets. We set a trap and managed to capture it the second night. The picture I took always makes me laugh:

We didn’t have our end of year exhibition but instead the academy had banners printed with some of our paintings. Came across one of them in the centre of town, kind of funny to see Rogier overlooking the car park (posted a picture on Instagram if you’re curious).

I started well with fruits and such but four months down the covid line, my eating habits have become atrocious.

Brought the half finished Gossaert home from the academy at the start of the summer break. Not sure if I’ll finish this one or start all over again.

Painted a study of Campin. Here is the halfway version, which I like better than the finished sketch:

Painted a few sketches based on old film stills from the family archives:

Painting something based on an old manuscript by Jan van Boendale about the dukes of Brabant. Current state:

Painted another one brush study/sketch, this time of Thomas More. It is not meant to be finished or a perfect copy, it’s just experimenting.

That’s all, folks…


The man with the arrow – Part 5: The key to the lock

The key to the solution lies in a version of the painting that is – according to the scarce information I can find about it – in a private collection in Australia.

Anthony as shown in ‘De eeuw van Van Eyck’

I do not know about the current when, where or what of the portrait but I can reconstruct a little bit of its past with the help of some books I have lying around and scattered information on the internet.

The portrait was part of the Edward Speelman collection, London (Edward Speelman was an art dealer). In the 19th century it was considered to be a portrait of Charles the Bold. It was forgotten about until it was published by Lorne Campbell.

The damaged backside allows to identify the sitter. It shows a barbican containing a flaming brand, surrounded by a golden cord with tassels. Above it are the letters. N.I.(?) E., letters which, as far as I know, have not been identified yet. Below is the device: “AINSI LE VEUL”, which is the second part of Antony’s device. (The first part is “NUL NE SI FROTE”.)

The portrait appears in two catalogues of local exhibitions I have here so I assume it was on display during those exhibitions. The first occasion was during The Brussels Millenium from October 6 – November 18, 1979: “Rogier van der Weyden – Rogier de le Pasture”, City Museum of Brussels. The painting bears number 15 in the catalogue and it is stated that is on loan from the Getty Museum, Malibu, Speelman collection.

The best image of it I have seen so far is in the catalogue of “De eeuw van Van Eyck 1430-1450. De Vlaamse Primitieven en het zuiden.” The exhibition took place in the Groeningemuseum, Bruges, 15 March until 30 June 2002. The portrait bears number 58 and the owner is listed as “Private collection”. With regard to provenance, the catalogue entry lists the following extra information: Before 1895: Robert Jackson, England. In this catalogue it is suggested that both paintings, The Man with the arrow and this one may be based on the same portrait sketch and were executed simultaneously by the atelier of the master.

Maybe the painting has been on display at other places, but so far I have no additional information about it.

Interestingly enough, both Anthony and João became knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece during the same chapter of the Golden Fleece in 1456. Is could well be possible they both had their portrait painted for the occasion? If so, what happened with the painting of João.

In any case there is no doubt about the identity of the Man with the arrow: it is Anthony the Bastard of Burgundy.

Until new information comes to light, obviously.

Nothing is certain, only taxes and death.

Bibliography for all posts

  • Rogier van der Weyden – De man met de pijl – Dirk De Vos, Openbaar Kunstbezit – 1972
  • Website of the Royal Museums of Fine Art, Brussels
  • Website of the Musée Condé, Chantilly
  • Rogier van der Weyden – Dirk De Vos, Mercatorfonds 1999
  • De eeuw van Van Eyck 1430-1450. De Vlaamse Primitieven en het Zuiden. Till Holger-Borchert e.a., Ludion, 2002.
  • Rogier van der Weyden – Rogier de le Pasture – Official painter to the city of Brussels – Portrait painter of the Burgundian court, City Museum of Brussels, 1979
  • The Gentleman’s Magazine, Volume 165, Sylvanus Urban
  • Déchiffrement de l’ex-libris du Grand Bâtard de Bourgogne. Ph. Lauer, 1923
  • Les Primitifs flamands – Micheline Comblen-Sonkes (collaboration de Ignace Vandevivere), Brussels, 1988
  • Pourquoi appelle-t-on les habitants de Tournehem-sur-la-Hem les Sarrazins ? – La Voix du Nord,  24/08/2015
  • Les croniques de Pisé, BnF Ms. Français 9041
  • Archaeologia or, Miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity, Vol. XXVII. Society of Antiquaries of London, 1838.
  • Antoine, le Bâtard de Bourgogne, premier comte de Sainte-Menehould. John Jussy, 2002
  • Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464 – De passie van de meester. Lorne Campbell – Jan Van der Stock Waanders/Davidsfonds, 2009

Do they know it’s not Christmas yet?

While I was looking for some reference materials, I came across two German (and sort of Dutch) Nativity scenes by Derick Baegert and Jan Joest van Kalkar. Both scenes were painted late 15th, early 16th century. Here are some of the other Nativities I’ve already posted in earlier posts. They all look very similar. It’s obvious copyright wasn’t an issue in the middle ages.

I wonder why these paintings inspired by other ones are often mirrored. Is it on purpose or is it a result of a copying process?

Nativity by Baegert
Columba altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden for reference
Prado Nativity by Memling, for reference purposes
Nativity by Jan Joest
The Magi by Hugo van der Goes


Petrus

Detail of Lamentation of Christ by Petrus Christus, Old Masters museum, Brussels

Have been looking through some pictures I took when I went to the Old Masters museum of Brussels and realised I must not forget to look into Petrus Christus too.

The lamentations of this period all look a bit similar, but there are always celebrities to spot. Like this one by Rogier van der Weyden, located at the Mauritshuis, Netherlands.


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