CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Karl der Kühne (1433-1477): Glanz und Untergang des letzten Herzogs von Burgund

Charles the Bold (1433-77): Art, War and Courtly Splendour Exhibition: 15 September 2009 - 10 January 2010

From the website of the Groeningemuseum, Bruges

Charles the Bold (15th century) was the son of Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal. Charles married three times. With Isabella of Bourbon he had a daughter, Mary of Burgundy. He aspired to a kingdom that stretched from the North Sea tot het Mediterranean Sea and owed his nickname to his fearlessness. He also amassed an array of titles: duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Limburg and Luxembourg, count of Flanders, Artesia, Burgundy, Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland, Gelre, Zutphen and Namur. Sinces his father’s day, the economic hub of the Burgundian kingdom had been in the Low Countries and almost all the important affairs of state were decided here. Charles crowned this shift to the north by officially moving the Burgundian court from Dijon to Brussels. From then on the old mother country played no more than a marginal role in politics. He found himself increasingly in conflict with King Louis XI of France and died on January 5th 1477 at the Battle of Nancy, when attemting to retake Nancy from the people of Lorraine.

His tomb lies in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, next to that of his daughter and successor Mary of Burgundy.
The Burgundian era is known as a period of prosperity for trade and industry and as a heyday of the arts. Charles was a great art-lover as well as a composer, singer and harpist.

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