Monday, March 4, 2024

My Philippe Le Roy Door

I have a hallway door that's been nondescript the whole time I've lived in the house. It leads to my utility closet and I pass it multiple times every day. I finally decided that it was time to bring it up a notch in appearance. The theme would be a portrait of Philippe Le Roy (1596-1679), a Flemish financier and diplomat.

Philippe Le Roy, the illegitimate grandson of a wealthy Antwerp merchant, became very successful through his own financial dealings, and that allowed him to acquire the rights to two villages and take the title, Lord of Ravels. As a diplomat, Philippe was instrumental in helping end the Thirty Years' War. I chose to paint him in large part because I think he has a marvelous face.

Here's the top panel of the door. I posed for the arm akimbo, and although I have relatively long fingers, they appeared a little stubby in the reference shot. So I lengthened them in PhotoShop. I also painted a Germanic sword that is of the proper time frame. It's called a "Katzbalger."

Katzbalger swords

I chose a quatrefoil design for the lower panel of the door, and I filled it with a Roman lion.

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 The crown is actually proper for a Flemish earl of the 1600's.

Heraldry  |  McGraw-Hill

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Thanks for watching!


  1. Hello Mark, I like Le Roy's clear gaze and confident manner. Every detail of what you paint is so well researched, in addition to being remarkably executed--certainly one of the unifying factors of the motifs that appear in your paintings.

    Even a utilitarian door gets the grand treatment from you. Walking through your house must be a surreal experience. It's so nice to see this new post from you--I had a feeling that you had not been idle!

  2. Hi Jim, I'm a little late in answering because your message didn't show up in my comments until today (!), but it's always good to chat with you. And thanks for the kind comment.

    I am running out of wall space in my house! I recently bought a beautiful antique frame, which I'm looking forward to filling, but I actually have no place to hang it, unless I switch something else out. I guess I'll be like those trendy British rooms and have pictures leaning against the walls.

    I enjoyed your collection of antique baby photos! I have a small collection of Victorian children wearing uniforms. Maybe I'll do a posting on them . . .

  3. Hello Mark. I am delighted to see the new post, and your painting of Phillipe Le Roy. Quite a handsome man, beckoning me closer for conversation. He takes my breath away. I would be ready for a mini series of Leroy. Who would play his part? Would he be a living actor or from the past? I would choose Errol Flynn, always.

  4. Hello Mrs. D., always a pleasure to hear from you!

    I have not been able to find much information on Phillipe Le Roy; it seems that history remembers him primarily because he had his portrait painted by Rubens. Nonetheless it sounds as though he was a dynamic fellow, worthy of being played by Errol Flynn. I like your casting direction!