[MR] Wikipedia: Van der Weyden Portrait

Garth Groff via Atlantia atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org
Fri May 22 02:16:09 PDT 2015

Noble Friends,

Wikipedia's featured image today is Rogier Van der Weyden's "Portrait of 
a Lady": 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_a_Lady_(van_der_Weyden) . This 
is the only know signed portrait by Wan der Weyden, and is thought to 
date from about 1460.

The text mentions the well-known repositioning of the subject's ear, 
stating that it was done to enhance the composition. Possibly true, but 
Van der Weyden has also been accused of "tarting up" his portraits to 
make the sitters a bit more attractive or noble looking. Van der Weyden 
was no fool, and such a bit of enhancement might bring further 
commissions. This "retouching" might explain the differences between two 
nearly contemporary portraits of Anthony, the Bastard of Burgundy. Van 
der Weyden's portrait can be compared with a slightly later sitting by 
Hans Memling at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony,_bastard_of_Burgundy

The identity of the sitter in "Portrait of a Lady" is not known. Van der 
Weyden's archives were lost when the French bombarded Brussels in 1695. 
Some sources (other than the Wikipedia article) suggest the subject was 
one of the many illegitimate daughters of Phillip the Good, Duke of 
Burgundy. The portrait of Anthony was done about 1460, as was a 
companion portrait of Charles the Bold, and one of Phillip the Good's 
surviving portraits is also attributed to Van der Weyden. Van der Weyden 
was one of the favorite painters of the Burgundian court.

You can read more about Van der Weyden at: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogier_van_der_Weyden .

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Who is Enamored by the Burgundians

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