A man of many guises

He’s been described as perhaps an accountant, a lawyer, mariner, musician, merchant, nobleman, poet, saint, sculptor, and even a Syrian soldier!

So who is the mystery man tucked behind the parapet in Van Eyck’s Léal Souvenir, whose identity has puzzled art historians for decades, if not centuries?

Wikipedia’s comprehensive page on the Léal Souvenir examines some of the suggestions put forward over the years as well other aspects of the painting aquired by London’s National Gallery in 1857.

Leal_inscription

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