Instytut Historii Sztuki <Posen> [Hrsg.]
Artium Quaestiones — [1].1979

Seite: 35
DOI Artikel: DOI Seite: Zitierlink: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/artium_quaestiones1979/0053
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JAN VAN EYCK — PORTRAIT OF JEAN DE CROY

35

ed: “The Portrait of a Young Man (Timotheos); which, the inscription
suggests, was a present to a friend”.25

The inscription looses the enigmatic character of an individual idea of
the artist when we consider its strong connection with the devices used
by the members of de Croy family.

Antoine, seigneur de Croy et de Renty, who died in 1475, a knight of
the Golden Fleece used the device; “SOWENANCE”.26

Jean de Croy, seigneur de la Tour sur Marne, councillor and Chamber-
lain of Duke of Burgundy, the gouvernou.r of Luxemburg sińce 1443, and
sińce 1453 a bailif of Hainaut,. till his death in 1472, being the knight of
the Golden Fleece was using the device “SOWIENNE VOUS”.27

Thus as we find the inscription “LEAL SOWENIR” on a portrait, and
the features of the portrayed person are common with those of de Croy
family, even the colours of the coat of arms stay in agreement with those
on the portrait, it enables us to point out the similarities of the devices of
de Croys ąuoted above; the devices which form a specific unity of the
family catchword.

Antoine and Jean de Croy received the membership of Knights of the
Golden Fleece Circle at the very beginning of its existence in 1430 when
it had only 25 members, including Duke of Burgundy — Philip the Good.
This fact gives the evidence to how honourable and of what dignity de
Croys were.28

The monumental techniąue of the inscription: “LEAL SOWENIR”,
striking the observer with its form and meaning should be analysed in
the eontext of a monumental form of a socle supporting the bust.

We have already pointed out the significant fact; that at the court of
Philip the Good, at whose service Jan van Eyck had also remained, two
of the courtiers were the knights of the Golden Fleece and whose devices
were “Sowenance” and “Sowienne vous”; they appeared to be Antoine

25 W i 1 e n s k y, op. cit., p. 7.

20 Bar. de Reiffenberg, Histoire de l’Ordre de la Toison d’Or. Bruxelles 1830, p. 3.
— Loredan Larchey, confirms that Information ąuoting the official manuscript of
that epoch. See Ancien memoriał eąuestre de la Toison d’or et de l’Europe au 15-e
siecle, Paris 1890, p. 28: „Sa devise etait: „Souyenance”.

27 Loredan Larchey, op. cit., p. 6: sa devise etait: “Sovienne vous” — Jean de
Croy was a younger son of Jean de Croy, seigneur de Renty and of Margaret de
Craon, and a brother of the elder Antoine de Croy. The catalogue of an exhibition La
Toison d’Or, Ciną Siecles d’Art et d’Histoire, Exposition, Bruges 1962 by M. H. Pau-
wels does not give any Information about devices of the knights of the Golden Fleece
circle.

28 A catalogue of an exhibition of 1962 gives the names of thirteen members of
de Croy family who were the knights of the Golden Fleece over the 15th and 16th
century only.
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