The Path To The Solution of a Mystery of Rennes Le Chateau

Part I

Livre du Coeur d'Amours Espris by Rene d'Anjou

Art by: Barthélemy d'Eyck ?

Barthélemy d'Eyck: Netherlandish painter, active in France. The son of Ydria Exters 'd'Allemagne' (d 1460) and the stepson of Pierre du Billant, he is first recorded on 19 February 1444 as a witness with Enguerrand Charonton in Aix-en-Provence and described as 'magister Bartolomeus de Ayck pictor', inhabitant of Aix. From c. 1447 he was 'peintre et varlet de chambre' at the court of René I, King of Naples (reg 1438-42) and Duke of Anjou (reg 1434-80). Between 1447 and 1449 Barthélemy worked at René's château of Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône) in a room close to the Duke's own apartments. There his activities may have included supervising fellow artists, providing designs and perhaps painting the ceiling decoration of the Royal Apartments in the east wing of the château (de Mérindol). In 1451 Barthélemy travelled in the Duke's entourage to Guyenne, and in 1456 he was at Angers, which he visited on a number of other occasions.

Existing accounts show that Barthélemy was responsible for paying painters and illuminators, purchasing materials for manuscripts and obtaining gold to be made into jewellery for René's second wife, Joanna of Laval. The last document relating to Barthélemy is dated 26 December 1469, when he received wages for himself, three servants and three horses. The high esteem in which he was held may be deduced from Jean Pélerin's third edition of his treatise De artificiali perspectiva (Toul, 1521), which ends with a French poem mentioning a 'Berthelemi' together with Jean Fouquet, Jean Poyet and Coppin Delf.

There are attempts to identify Barthélemy d'Eyck with the Master of the Aix Annunciation.


King Rene dreams: The God of Love steals from him his Heart without him Knowing and gives it to Desire
Heart and Desire with Hope at his House
Heart and Desire Speak to the Dwarf, Jealousy
Heart and Desire Sleep under the Aspen
At Sunrise, Heart reads the inscription on the Enchanted Fountain
Heart enters the Hut of Melancholy
Heart, Desire and Melancholy at the bridge 'The Dangerous Walk', which is Guarded by the Knight Soulcy
Hope Takes Heart out of the River of Tears
Heart and Desire enter the Courtyard of the Chateau of Wrath on horseback
The Duel between Heart and Wrath
At the Beginning of the day Desire meets Humble Request in the valley where the Tenets of Honour are erected
Desire kneels in front of Honour imploring the help of Heart
Heart, Desire and Generosity in front of the Cottage of Sighing Grief
Heart, Desire and Generosity, late in the evening, in front of the Hermit's Cell
Heart, Desire and Generosity embark, in the early afternoon, on the boat the belongs to Fiance and Expectation
Heart, Desire and Generosity land in the night with Fiance and Expectation on the rock of the Company and Friendship