Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jacques de Molay, Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar

Using a GW Empire head atop a FireForge figure - here is the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay.
His horse trapper and shield bear his personal coat of arms. His tunic and cloak are blazoned with the Templar Order cross. Interestingly, there is no record of an "official" style of cross used by the Templars, but the one used here seems common enough for them.
A small bit of Green Stuff was used on the back of his neck to represent his mail coif pulled back.
De Molay is said to have been born in a part of Burgundy then ruled by the Holy Roman Empire, and had joined the Templars in 1265, at the age of 21. He is believed to have been present at the Fall of Acre to the Mamluks in 1291.
In 1292, he was elected as Grand Master for the Templars. The Order had relocated to the island of Cyprus after losing their foothold in the Holy Land. He even attempted to forge an alliance with the Mongols in an effort to defeat the Mamluks.
In 1307 the Order was charged with using blasphemous initiation rites and other heresies. King Philip IV of France had members of the Order, including De Molay arrested. Confessions of these "crimes" were obtained after sufficient torture and executions. It should be noted that King Philip stood to gain the Templars' immense wealth, as well as be freed from the large debt he owed to the Order. Still imprisoned by the French King, De Molay retracted his confession in 1314 and was subsequently burned at the stake. He is believed to have uttered these final words, "Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us – God will avenge us."  An embellished version being:
"Here you see innocent people die!" "I am calling you, King Philip IV of France!" "I am calling you, Pope Clement V" "I am calling you to appear within one year from today at the Court of God in order to receive your legitimated penalty! - curse, curse, be all of you cursed until your 13th generation"
In any case, the Pope died within a month,  and the king before the year was over.

40 comments:

  1. Cracking figure Dean with an interesting history!

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    1. Thanks, Mike! Appreciate the kind words and visit. Best, Dean

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  2. Oh, this is an amazing and marvellous miniature, congratulations! And one of my favourite historical figures, embodying the final and tragic chapter of Templar history. In Portugal they just changed from Knights Templar to Knights of Christ - their cross becoming one of the national symbols, and omnipresent during the Age of Discovery - on flags and sails :) Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks for your great comments! Much appreciated. Dean

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  3. So good mate! love the write up. Those final words, wow, eerie.

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  4. A lovely figure, as usual, and great detail.
    Thanks
    Dan

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  5. Wow! I think each of your knights is my favorite until I see the next one! Truly exquisite! Enjoy the mini-history lesson accompanying each too. Prophetic last words.

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  6. Another cracker mate! Can we see a group shot at some point please?

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  7. Thanks everyone for the great comments.

    @ Michael: I plan to take a group shot after two more figs.

    Warm regards, Dean

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  8. Great looking figure again Dean! Interesting info too!

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  9. Great figure! Have to quote Yeats at this point...

    'Vengeance upon the murderers,' the cry goes up,
    'Vengeance for Jacques Molay.' In cloud-pale rags, or in lace,
    The rage-driven, rage-tormented, and rage-hungry troop,
    Trooper belabouring trooper, biting at arm or at face,
    Plunges towards nothing, arms and fingers spreading wide
    For the embrace of nothing; and I, my wits astray
    Because of all that senseless tumult, all but cried
    For vengeance on the murderers of Jacques Molay.

    (from Meditations in Time of Civil War)

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  10. A most famous character, and one of your best achievements...gorgeous!

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  11. Fantastic work, and a great post too, what a story! I have to say also, that is a mighty fine beard :-)

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    1. Thanks, Paul. Figured he'd lead by example on the Order's "no shaving" rule. :)

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  12. Great painted figure! The heraldy is just awesome!

    Greetings
    Peter

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  13. Excellent painting once again! The pulled back mail coif is a nice touch.

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  14. Dean, you're exceeding yourself once again! I love that pink detail on the back of the barding. Masterful painting!

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    1. Thanks, Soren. I appreciate your approval on the colors - something I end up deciding on while painting as I never am quite sure how it should contrast. Best, Dean

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  15. Now that is wonderful! Cracking work Dean.

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  16. I truly appreciate all of the nice comments and it cheers me to know it meets your collective approval. Warmest regards, Dean

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  17. Lovely work. White is such a difficult colour to pull off especially when it is the primary colour great job!

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  18. Fantastic brushwork, and a great bit of history too.

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  19. More medieval goodness to astound us. The painting and the history are, as always, excellent!

    Of course, the Templars are rumoured to have carried on in secret in Scotland, and to have played a pivotal role at Bannockburn in 1314... who can say for certain?

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    1. Interesting to note that Edward II thought the French inquisition total baloney. and gave the Templars in England as much a break as he could - without defying the Papal bull - no pun intended.

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    2. Edward II, a much-maligned monarch; impulsive, like most Plantagenets, but without the force of personality to crash through baronial intransigence. His choice of favourites left much to be desired as well - Gaveston took him to the cleaners!

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    3. Indeed, his selection of his inner circle left much to be desired -to their collective misfortune.

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  20. Great painting. Encouraged to play the Crusader Kings II

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  21. Again, a fabulous figure.
    Clean fresh colors.
    Now, we can even say; the real razor-john!

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  22. Thanks for the great comments and visit in the new year, Gents! Warm regards, Dean

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  23. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Roy. I see you've been very busy in 2015 already. Regards, Dean

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  24. I'm just catching up on your blog posts. WOW! So many museum-quality figures to compliment you on!

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  25. Thanks, Gents! Your visit and comments are always much appreciated. Dean

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