Master of Affligem: Portrait of Philip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad (1500)

(Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium)

These two paintings are from the Triptych of Zierikzee. On the left is Philip I of Castile 'the Handsome or the Fair', duke of Burgundy (including Flanders and parts of the Netherlands), son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. On the right is Joanna of Castile, better known as Joanna the Mad. Joanna was heiress to the throne of Castile, León and Aragon. At the age of 17, Joanna and Philip married, combining Burgundy, Flanders, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily and Napels. The marriage produced 6 children: two future emperors and four future queens. During the marriage Joanna begane to show signs of mental instability. Philip suddenly died in 25 September 1506 of typhoid fever and Joanna refused to let the body be buried, taking her husband's corpse with her on her travels. After a while Joanna was deemed mentally ill and was confined to a nunnery for the rest of her life. Until her death in 1555 at the age of 75, her father Ferdinand II of Aragon ruled as regent as king of Spain  until in 1517 her son, the future Hole Roman Emperor Charles V took over. Painting from around 1500.