|About the Book|
This manuscript investigates Van Eycks patronage by the Crown of Portugal and his role as diplomat-painter of the Duchy of Burgundy following his first voyage to Lisbon in 1428-1429 when he painted two portraits of Infanta Isabella, who became the third wife of Philip the Good in 1430. New portrait identifications are provided in the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) and its iconographical prototype, the lost Fountain of Life. These altarpieces are analyzed with regard to King Joao Is conquest of Ceuta, achieved by his sons who were hailed as an illustrious generation. Strong family ties between the dynastic houses of Avis and Lancaster explain Lusitania s sustained fascination with Arthurian lore and the Grail quest. Several chapters of this book are overlaid with a chivalric veneer. A second secret mission to Portugal in 1437 by Jan van Eyck is postulated and this diplomatic visit is related to Prince Henrique the Navigators expedition to Tangier and King Duartes attempts to forge an alliance with Alfonso V of Aragon. Late Eyckian commissions are reviewed in light of this ill-fated crusade and additional new portraits are identified. The most significant artist of Renaissance Flanders appears to have been patronized as much by the House of Avis as by the Duchy of Burgundy.