Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Duke Louis of Orleans - recovering a portrait

My attention has been drawn by a post on the Medieval Religion discussion group site to the latest edition of the online journal Pereginations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture. Vol. IV/No. 1 is now accessible at http://peregrinations.kenyon.edu

If you click and enter, and then scroll down the contents page you can find a lot of good things. The main features are on medieval cartography, both practical and symbolic.

Amongst recent discoveries reported upon are the remains of a model for the dome of Florence cathedral which had been found near the Duomo in Discovered: Scale Model of Florence Cathedral Dome, a report on a find of a piece of personal devotional jewellery from Essex in 16th-century Locket found by 3-year old on Display at the British Museum and coverage of a survey of Curses, Musical Scores, and Jonah: Archaeologists' Quest to Decipher Medieval Graffiti Scrawled of Norwich Cathedral

My eye was particularly taken by the discovery, under overpainting, by restorers at the Prado of a portrait of Duke Louis I of Orleans on a devotional painting. The Duke was the brother of King Charles VI, and his assassination in 1407 fuelled the downward spiral in internal French politics at the beginning of the fifteenth century. It can be read at Portrait of Louis I of Orléans Found in The Agony in the Garden.

As someone particularly interested in the period I have copied a picture of the recovered and restored figure of the Duke from the History Blog website to which the article is linked. It is reminder of what can be recovered by proper care and conservation.


St Agnes and Duke Louis I of Orleans
Image: Pereginations/The History Blog/Prado

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