King of Knights and the New Renaissance

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REN_OF~1

Januaryty_det_largeBosch_Hieronymus-Marriage_Feast_at_Cana

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Renedesanjoubosche14I have some very beautiful Facebook friends who display their family crest. All day (and night) long they post beautiful images of women with roses, and, their lovers and knights. These are Rose of the World Women who go about the world collecting the images I developed as a young man, a lover of beautiful women, and art. If Christine Rosamond were alive, I would be gathering commissions for her from my bouquette of beautiful friends. We would establish a Creative Court. It is all but done!

Above is the family crest of Rene d’Anjou and the de Bourmonts. Note the two fish which denote the de Bar family of which the Ferrette/Rougemont family are united. This suggests there is a blood tie between the de Bourmonts, the Dukes of Anjou, and the de Bar family. Indeed, there was deliberate alliance that present day Legitimists are savouring in regards to the restoration of the Monarchy of France – that I believe involves the recreation of the Court of Rene d’Anjou.

“The marriage of Marie of Bourbon, niece of Philip of Burgundy, with John, duke of Calabria, René’s eldest son, cemented peace between the two princes. After appointing a regency in Bar and Lorraine, he visited his provinces of Anjou and Provence, and in 1438 set sail for Naples, which had been held for him by the Duchess Isabel.”

Above are two paintings that cement this Alliance together. One is the Wedding Feast at Cana by Hieronymus Bosch that is believed to contain the images of members of the Swan Brethren, and thus my kindred. Note the feast in The Très Riches that is attributed to several artists because it was reworked. Note the dogs in foreground. In Bosch’s painting a dog replaces an image of Pope Adrian being escorted into the hall of the Swan Brethren by a smiling figure who I believe was my illustrious kindred, Godeschalk Rosemondt, who was the Grand Master of the Swan Brotherhood. He was the Master of Leuvain and the Falcon Art College. Was he a – Art Teacher? Why Rosemondt and the Pope were eradicated may have to do with the Reformation.

In future posts I will look at the real possibility Bosch’s work was dictated by the Swan Brethren who employed a stable of artists to promote their idealogy. I will discuss one of Bosch’s painting that may have been done by a half dozen artists.

Rene d’Anjou gathered together many artists in his court. It is my plan to found ‘The Creative Cyber-Court of Anjou’ and bring together Artists from all over the internet world.

Jon Gregory

Copyright 2013

Heures du Duc de Berry, or Très Riches Heures, is possibly the best example of French Gothic manuscript illumination surviving to the present day. It is a book of hours: a collection of prayers to be said at canonical hours. It was created between 1412 and 1416 for John, Duke of Berry, by the Limbourg brothers. When the three painters and their sponsor died in 1416, possibly victims of plague, the manuscript was left unfinished. It was further embellished in the 1440s by an anonymous painter, who many art historians believe was Barthélemy d’Eyck. In 1485-1489, it was brought to its present state by the painter Jean Colombe on behalf of the Duke of Savoy. Acquired by the Duc d’Aumale in 1856, the book currently resides in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

The King of Sicily’s fame as an amateur painter[1] formerly led to the optimistic attribution to him of many paintings in Anjou and Provence, in many cases simply because they bore his arms. These works are generally in the Early Netherlandish style, and were probably executed under his patronage and direction, so that he may be said to have formed a school of the fine arts in sculpture, painting, goldsmith’s work and tapestry. He employed Barthélemy d’Eyck as both painter and varlet de chambre for most of his career.

René of Anjou (Rei Rainièr in Occitan) (16 January 1409 – 10 July 1480), also known as René I of Naples and Good King René (French Le bon roi René), was Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence (1434–1480), Count of Piedmont, Duke of Bar (1430–1480), Duke of Lorraine (1431–1453), King of Naples (1435–1442; titular 1442–1480), titular King of Jerusalem (1438–1480) and Aragon (1466–1480) (including Sicily, Majorca, Corsica).

Life[edit]

The Castle of Angers, René’s birthplace.
René was born in the castle of Angers, and was the second son of Louis II of Anjou, King of Sicily (i.e. King of Naples), and of Yolande of Aragon. He was the brother of Marie of Anjou, who married the future Charles VII of France and became Queen of France.

Louis II died in 1417, and his sons, together with their brother-in-law, afterwards Charles VII of France, were brought up under the guardianship of their mother. The elder, Louis III, succeeded to the crown of Sicily and to the duchy of Anjou, René being known as the Count of Guise. By his marriage treaty (1419) with Isabella, elder daughter of Charles II, Duke of Lorraine, he became heir to the Duchy of Bar, which was claimed as the inheritance of his mother Yolande, and, in right of his wife, heir to the Duchy of Lorraine.

René, then only ten, was to be brought up in Lorraine under the guardianship of Charles II and Louis, cardinal of Bar, both of whom were attached to the Burgundian party, but he retained the right to bear the arms of Anjou.

He was far from sympathizing with the Burgundians, and, joining the French army at Reims in 1429, was present at the coronation of Charles VII. When Louis of Bar died in 1430 René came into sole possession of his duchy, and in the next year, on his father-in-law’s death, he succeeded to the duchy of Lorraine. But the inheritance was claimed by the heir-male, Antoine de Vaudemont, who with Burgundian help defeated René at Bulgneville in July 1431. The Duchess Isabella effected a truce with Antoine de Vaudemont, but the duke remained a prisoner of the Burgundians until April 1432, when he recovered his liberty on parole on yielding up as hostages his two sons, John and Louis of Anjou.

His title as duke of Lorraine was confirmed by his suzerain, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, at Basel in 1434. This proceeding roused the anger of the Burgundian duke, Philip the Good, who required him early in the next year to return to his prison, from which he was released two years later on payment of a heavy ransom. He had succeeded to the throne of the Kingdom of Naples through the deaths of his brother Louis III and of Joanna II, queen of Naples, the last of the earlier dynasty. Louis had been adopted by her in 1431, and she now left her inheritance to René.

The marriage of Marie of Bourbon, niece of Philip of Burgundy, with John, duke of Calabria, René’s eldest son, cemented peace between the two princes. After appointing a regency in Bar and Lorraine, he visited his provinces of Anjou and Provence, and in 1438 set sail for Naples, which had been held for him by the Duchess Isabel.

The castle of Baugé, home castle of René, Duke of Anjou, in the village of Baugé, Maine-et-Loire, René, as a vassal, paying homage to the King of France.
René’s captivity, and the poverty of the Angevin resources due to his ransom, enabled Alfonso V of Aragon, who had been first adopted and then repudiated by Joanna II, to make some headway in the kingdom of Naples, especially as he was already in possession of the island of Sicily. In 1441 Alfonso laid siege to Naples, which he sacked after a six-month siege. René returned to France in the same year, and though he retained the title of king of Naples his effective rule was never recovered. Later efforts to recover his rights in Italy failed. His mother Yolande, who had governed Anjou in his absence, died in 1442. René took part in the negotiations with the English at Tours in 1444, and peace was consolidated by the marriage of his younger daughter, Margaret, with Henry VI of England at Nancy.

René now made over the government of Lorraine to John, Duke of Calabria, who was, however, only formally installed as Duke of Lorraine on the death of Queen Isabella in 1453. René had the confidence of Charles VII, and is said to have initiated the reduction of the men-at-arms set on foot by the king, with whose military operations against the English he was closely associated. He entered Rouen with him in November 1449, and was also with him at Formigny and Caen.

After his second marriage with Jeanne de Laval, daughter of Guy XIV, Count of Laval, and Isabella of Brittany, René took a less active part in public affairs, and devoted himself more to artistic and literary pursuits. The fortunes of his house declined in his old age: in 1466, the rebellious Catalonians offered the crown of Aragon to René, and the Duke of Calabria, unsuccessful in Italy, was sent to take up the conquest of that kingdom. However, he died, apparently by poison, at Barcelona on 16 December 1470. The Duke of Calabria’s eldest son Nicholas perished in 1473, also under suspicion of poisoning. In 1471, René’s daughter Margaret was finally defeated in the Wars of the Roses. Her husband and her son were killed and she herself became a prisoner who had to be ransomed by Louis XI of France in 1476.

René of Naples with his army.
René II, Duke of Lorraine, Rene’s grandson and only surviving male descendant, was gained over to the party of Louis XI, who suspected the king of Sicily of complicity with his enemies, the Duke of Brittany and the Constable Saint-Pol.

René retired to Provence, and in 1474 made a will by which he left Bar to his grandson René II, Duke of Lorraine; Anjou and Provence to his nephew Charles, count of Le Maine. King Louis XI seized Anjou and Bar, and two years later sought to compel René to exchange the two duchies for a pension. The offer was rejected, but further negotiations assured the lapse to the crown of the duchy of Anjou, and the annexation of Provence was only postponed until the death of the Count of Le Maine. René died on 10 July 1480 in Aix-en-Provence. He was buried in the cathedral of Angers.

His charities having earned him the title of “the good.” He founded an order of chivalry, the Ordre du Croissant, which preceded the royal foundation of St Michael, but did not survive René.

The arts[edit]

Detail of the Burning Bush triptych, showing René and his second wife, Jeanne de Laval.

The King of Sicily’s fame as an amateur painter[1] formerly led to the optimistic attribution to him of many paintings in Anjou and Provence, in many cases simply because they bore his arms. These works are generally in the Early Netherlandish style, and were probably executed under his patronage and direction, so that he may be said to have formed a school of the fine arts in sculpture, painting, goldsmith’s work and tapestry. He employed Barthélemy d’Eyck as both painter and varlet de chambre for most of his career.

Two of the most famous works formerly attributed to René are the triptych of the Burning Bush of Nicolas Froment of Avignon, in the cathedral of Aix, showing portraits of René and his second wife, Jeanne de Laval, and an illuminated Book of Hours in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris. Among the men of letters attached to his court was Antoine de la Sale, whom he made tutor to his son, the Duke of Calabria. He encouraged the performance of mystery plays; on the performance of a mystery of the Passion at Saumur in 1462 he remitted four years of taxes to the town, and the representations of the Passion at Angers were carried out under his auspices.

He exchanged verses with his kinsman, the poet Charles of Orléans. René was also the author of two allegorical works: a devotional dialogue, Le Mortifiement de vaine plaisance (The Mortification of Vain Pleasure, 1455), and a love quest, Le Livre du Cuer d’amours espris (The Book of the Love-Smitten Heart, 1457). The latter fuses the conventions of Arthurian romance with an allegory of love based on the Romance of the Rose. Both works were exquisitely illustrated by his court painter, Barthélémy d’Eyck. Le Mortifiement survives in eight illuminated manuscripts. Although Barthélémy’s original is lost, the extant manuscripts include copies of his miniatures by Jean le Tavernier, Jean Colombe, and others. René is sometimes credited with the pastoral poem Regnault and Jeanneton, but this was more likely a gift to the king honoring his marriage to Jeanne de Laval.

Watercolour, probably by Barthélemy d’Eyck, from King René’s Tournament Book.
Le Livre des tournois (“tournament book”; Traicte de la Forme de Devis d’un Tournoi) ca. 1460 describes rules of a tournament. The most famous, and earliest, of the many manuscript copies is kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (MS Fr 2695). This is, unusually for a de luxe manuscript, on paper, and painted in watercolour. It may represent drawings by Barthélemy d’Eyck, intended as preparatory only, which were later illuminated by him or another artist. There are twenty-six full and double page miniatures.

The description given in the book is different from that of the pas d’armes held at Razilly and Saumur; conspicuously absent are the allegorical and chivalresque ornamentations that were in vogue at the time. René instead emphasizes he is reporting on ancient tournament customs of France, Germany and the Low Countries, combining them in a new suggestion on how to hold a tournament. The tournament described is a melee fought by two sides. Individual jousts are only briefly mentioned.

Marriages and issue[edit]

19th century Statue of King René, Aix-en-Provence

René’s castle in Tarascon
René married:
1.Isabelle, Duchess of Lorraine (1410 – 28 February 1453) in 1420
2.Jeanne de Laval, on 10 September 1454, at the Abbey of St. Nicholas in Angers

His legitimate children by Isabelle were:
1.John II, Duke of Lorraine (1425–1470)
2.René (b. 1426)
3.Louis of Anjou (1427, Nancy – 1443), Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson
4.Nicolas (b. 1428, Nancy), d. young
5.Yolande de Bar (2 November 1428 – 23 March 1483), married 1445, Nancy, Frederick, Count of Vaudémont
6.Margaret (23 March 1429 or 23 March 1430 – 25 August 1482), married Henry VI of England.
7.Charles (1431–1432), Count of Guise
8.Isabelle, d. young
9.Louise (b. 1436), d. young
10.Anne (b. 1437), d. young

He also had three illegitimate children:
1.John, Bastard of Anjou (d. 1536), Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson, married 1500 Marguerite de Glandeves-Faucon[2]
2.Jeanne Blanche (d. 1470), Lady of Mirebeau, married in Paris 1467 Bertrand de Beauvau (d. 1474)[3]
3.Madeleine (d. aft. 1515), Countesss of Montferrand (+after 1515), married in Tours 1496 Louis Jean, seigneur de Bellenave[4]

Cultural references[edit]

King René’s Honeymoon, 1864, an imaginary scene in the life of the king by Ford Madox Brown
.

He appears as “Reignier” in William Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, part 1. His alleged poverty for a king is satirised.

René’s honeymoon, devoted with his bride to the arts, is imagined in Walter Scott’s novel Anne of Geierstein (1829). The imaginary scene of his honeymoon was later depicted by the Pre-Raphaelite painters Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.[5]

In 1845 the Danish poet Henrik Hertz wrote the play King René’s Daughter about René and his daughter Yolande de Bar; this was later adapted into the opera Iolanta by Tchaikovsky.

René and his Order of the Crescent were adopted as “historical founders” by the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in 1912, as exemplars of Christian chivalry and charity. Ceremonies of the Order of the Crescent were referenced in formulating ceremonies for the fraternity.

In conspiracy theories, such as the one promoted in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, René has been alleged to be the ninth Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.

La Cheminée du roi René (The Fireplace of King René), op. 205, is a suite for wind quintet, composed in 1941 by Darius Milhaud.

Chant du Roi René (Song of King René) is a piece for organ (or harmonium) by Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911) from his collection of Noels (Op.60). The theme used throughout this piece was alleged to have been written by René (Guilmant’s source was Alphonse Pellet, organist at Nîmes Cathedral).

Arms[edit]

The Coat of arms of René in 1420; Composing the arms of Valois-Anjou (top left and bottom right), Duchy of Bar (top right and bottom left), and of the Duchy of Lorraine (superimposed shield). In 1434 were added Hungary, Kingdom of Naples and Jerusalem (top left, top center and top right). The arms of the Crown of Aragon (superimposed shield) were shown from 1443 to 1470. In 1453 the arms of Lorraine were removed and in 1470 Valois-Anjou were substituted for the modern arms of the duchy (superimposed shield). [6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%A8s_Riches_Heures_du_Duc_de_Berry

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, or Très Riches Heures, is possibly the best example of French Gothic manuscript illumination surviving to the present day. It is a book of hours: a collection of prayers to be said at canonical hours. It was created between 1412 and 1416 for John, Duke of Berry, by the Limbourg brothers. When the three painters and their sponsor died in 1416, possibly victims of plague, the manuscript was left unfinished. It was further embellished in the 1440s by an anonymous painter, who many art historians believe was Barthélemy d’Eyck. In 1485-1489, it was brought to its present state by the painter Jean Colombe on behalf of the Duke of Savoy. Acquired by the Duc d’Aumale in 1856, the book currently resides in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

John, Duke of Berry, is the French prince for whom the Très Riches Heures was made. Berry was the third son of the future king of France, John the Good. Little is known of Berry’s education but it is certain that he spent his adolescence among arts and literature (Cazelles and Rathofer 1988). The young prince lived an extravagant life, necessitating frequent loans. He commissioned many works of art, which he amassed in his Saint Chapelle mansion. Upon Berry’s death in 1416, a final inventory was done on his estate that described the incomplete and unbound gatherings of the Très Riches Heures (Cazelles and Rathofer 1988).

John of Berry or John the Magnificent (French: Jean de Berry; 30 November 1340 – 15 June 1416) was Duke of Berry and Auvergne and Count of Poitiers and Montpensier. He was the third son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxemburg; his brothers were King Charles V of France, Duke Louis I of Anjou and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. He is primarily remembered as a collector of the important illuminated manuscripts and other works of art commissioned by him, such as the Très Riches Heures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_Duke_of_Berry

John of Berry was also a notable patron who commissioned among other works the most famous Book of Hours, the Très Riches Heures. “Like other works produced on the duke’s auspices, this model of elegance reflected many of the artistic tendencies of the time in its fusion of Flemish realism, of the refined Parisian style, and of Italian panel-painting techniques.” [4] His spending on his art collection severely taxed his estates, and he was deeply in debt when he died in 1416 at Paris.
Works created for him include the manuscripts known as the Très Riches Heures, the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry and (parts of) the Turin-Milan Hours. Goldsmith’s work includes the Holy Thorn Reliquary and Royal Gold Cup, both in the British Museum. Among the artists working for him were the Limbourg Brothers, Jacquemart de Hesdin and André Beauneveu.
The web site of the Louvre says of him:[5]

By his exacting taste, by his tireless search for artists, from Jacquemart de Hesdin to the Limbourg brothers, Jean de Berry made a decisive contribution to the renewal of art which took place in his time and to a number of religious houses, notably Notre Dame de Paris.

Hieronymus Bosch (/ˌhaɪ.əˈrɒnɨməs ˈbɒʃ/; Dutch: [ɦijeˈɾoːnimʏs ˈbɔs]; born Jheronimus van Aken [jeˈɾoːnimʏs vɑn ˈaːkə(n)];[1] c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was an Early Netherlandish painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.[2]

In recent years, art historians have added a further dimension again to the subject of ambiguity in Bosch’s work. They emphasized his ironic tendencies, which are fairly obvious, for example, in the The Garden of Earthly Delights, both in the central panel (delights),[13] and the right panel (hell).[14] By adding irony to his morality arenas, Bosch offers the option of detachment, both from the real world and from the painted fantasy world. By doing so he could gain acceptance among both conservative and progressive viewers. Perhaps it was just this ambiguity that enabled the survival of a considerable part of this provocative work through five centuries of religious and political upheaval.
A recent study[15] on Bosch’s paintings alleges that they actually conceal a strong nationalist consciousness, censuring the foreign imperial government of the Burgundian Netherlands, especially Maximilian Habsburg. By systematically superimposing images and concepts, the study asserts that Bosch also made his expiatory self-punishment, for he was accepting well-paid commissions from the Habsburgs and their deputies, and therefore betraying the memory of Charles the Bold.[16]
Debates on attribution[edit]

Bosch’ signature spelling Jheronimǔs boſch from The Hermit Saints triptych
The exact number of Bosch’s surviving works has been a subject of considerable debate. He signed only seven of his paintings, and there is uncertainty whether all the paintings once ascribed to him were actually from his hand. It is known that from the early sixteenth century onwards numerous copies and variations of his paintings began to circulate. In addition, his style was highly influential, and was widely imitated by his numerous followers.[17]
Over the years, scholars have attributed to him fewer and fewer of the works once thought to be his, and today only 25 are definitively attributed to him.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things is a painting attributed to Hieronymus Bosch, completed around 1500 or later. The painting is oil on wood panels. The painting is presented in a series of circular images.
Four small circles, detailing “Death of the Sinner”, “Judgement”, “Hell”, and “Glory”, surround a larger circle in which the seven deadly sins are depicted: wrath at the bottom, then (proceeding clockwise) envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, extravagance (later, lust), and pride in scenes from everyday life rather than allegorical representations of the sins.[1]
At the centre of the large circle, which is said to represent the eye of God, is a “pupil” in which Christ can be seen emerging from his tomb. Below this image is the Latin inscription Cave Cave Deus Videt (“Beware, Beware, God Sees”).
Above and below the central image are inscription in Latin of Deuteronomy 32:28-29, containing the lines “For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them,” above, and “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” below.

The Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady (Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap) was a religious confraternity founded in 1318 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch to promote the veneration of the Mother of God. The brotherhood was organized around a carved wooden image of the Virgin Mary in St John’s Cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.[1] [2] The Brotherhood had two types of members: ordinary members and sworn members, also called ‘swan-brethren’ because they used to donate a swan for the yearly banquet. Sworn members were clerics in principle; in fact they were often chosen among the nobility, the magistrates, etc. As a result, the Brotherhood also functioned as an important social network.
Well known members[edit]
Hieronymus Bosch, (c. 1450 – 1516), painter.[3][4]
Nycasius de Clibano (? – 1497), singer and composer
Jheronimus de Clibano (c. 1459 – 1503), singer and composer
Jan Heyns (? – 1516), architect
Jan van Wintelroy (? – 1576), composer and choirmaster
Matthaeus Pipelare (c. 1450 – c. 1515), composer and choirmaster
Frederik van Egmond (c. 1470 – 1539), Count of Buren and lord of IJsselstein

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I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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