The first one was Joan of Arc, who on June 3rd, 1429 – after her victory at
Orleans – visited the future King Charles VII (Agnes Sorel’s ‘boyfriend’, remember) to insist on him travelling
as soon as possible to Reims for his official
coronation. In the previous years there had been some doubt and dispute about
the King’s ancestry. I suppose that since Joan had won the battle with
Charles’ moral and financial support, it was important to get him on the throne
while his popularity was at its peek. Mind you, this is my personal
interpretation of the matter. There might have been a more important, political
reason for the sudden rush.
While Joan only visited the Logis and never actually lived there, Agnes Sorel became a permanent resident of the elegant castle after leaving the court at Chinon, where Louis XI, the dauphin, had been doing everything in his power to make her life as miserable as possible. The logis became Agnes’ hide-out where she spent many a happy hour with her lover and companion Charles VII.
21th century Anne de Bretagne.
The third and last woman who inspired our contemporary artist is Anne de Bretagne.
widow of Maximilian of Austria, After the annulment of her mariage to Maximilian of Austria she was successively married to Charles VIII
and Louis XII. She lived in Loches at the end of the 15th and/or the
beginning of the 16th century (she died in 1514, age 37). She took
up residence in the northern part of the Logis where she had a small yet
profusely decorated room at her disposal. The intricate cord and other motives are
still as exquisite and delicate as they must have been at the time when Anne
had them carved.
15th century Anne de Bretagne.
Of the three portraits, Anne de Bretagne’s is my favourite. She looks so diva-like in her silk gown. And is it my imagination, or do I detect some of Ava Gardner’s features in her face and posture?
This is where my saga of the Women of Loches ends (do I hear a sigh of relieve there?). I hope you’ve enjoyed it. After meeting these three grand ladies, it is time to move on to our rendezvous with another special lady, blogger friend Jean (and her husband Nick) from Derbyshire and holidaying in Le Grand Pressigny.