[MR] Wikipedia: The Wilton Diptych

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 03:36:08 PST 2018

Noble Friends,

Wikipedia's "Today's Featured Picture" is the left side of the Wilton
Diptych. The Diptych is a very rare English altarpiece dating from around
1395-1399. The left panel is remarkable for showing a very realistic
portrait of King Richard II of England in a devotional pose. With him are
the King's personal patron saint, John the Baptist (holding the sheep), and
England's most important royal saints, Edward the Confessor and Edmund the
Martyr (with the arrow).

The story isn't really complete without considering the right side, which
features the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ child amid a whole bunch
of angels. It is to Jesus and Mary that Richard is offering his prayers.
Consider this somewhat self-serving device in the context of a similar
portrait of French King Charles VII, as one of the Biblical Wise Men
offering similar devotion to the Mary and the Infant Jesus:
(the soldiers are from his *Garde Écossaise, *or* Scottish Guard).*

The Wikipedia article goes into great length discussing the various badges
and heraldic devices seen in the panels (including livery badges on the
angels' gowns). When set against known historical events, there is a great
deal of information in the small details of both panels.

The name "Wilton Diptych" derives from Wilton House, seat of the Earls of
Pembroke, who successively owned the panels from the mid-17th century (in
1649 the panels were still in King Charles I's personal collection). In
1929 the panels were purchased by the National Gallery, where they are
still on display.

More on the Wilton Diptych, including images of both sides and their
versos, can be viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilton_Diptych .

Richard II, whose early reign was marked by his firm handling of the
Peasant's Revolt of 1381, degenerated into mental instability that led to
his eventual deposition and death by starvation in 1400. He must be ranked
as one of the more tragic English kings (at least Shakespeare tells us so).
So here's his Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_II_of_England .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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