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Eleanor of Aquitaine

Hey guys! there goes an image I did some time ago. Back to mythological characters? Eleanor of Aquitaine was an important figure on France history and the crusades, you know her? no? then...


Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages and a member of the Ramnulfid dynasty of rulers in southwestern France. She became Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right while she was still a child, then later Queen consort of France (1137–1152) and of England (1154–1189). Three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade.

Eleanor of Aquitaine also formally took up the cross symbolic of the Second Crusade during a sermon preached by Bernard of Clairvaux. Eleanor recruited some of her royal ladies-in-waiting for the campaign, as well as 300 non-noble Aquitainian vassals. She insisted on taking part in the Crusades as the feudal leader of the soldiers from her duchy. She and her ladies dressed as Amazons and she was compared with Penthesilea, mythical queen of the Amazons. Her testimonial launch of the Second Crusade from Vézelay, the rumored location of Mary Magdalene´s grave, dramatically emphasized the role of women in the campaign. The Crusade itself achieved little. Louis was a weak and ineffectual military leader with no skill for maintaining troop discipline or morale, or of making informed and logical tactical decisions. Louis and Eleanor stayed in the Philopation palace just outside the city walls.Second Crusade council: Conrad III of Germany, Eleanor's husband Louis VII of France, and Baldwin III of JerusalemFrom the moment the Crusaders entered Asia Minor, things began to go badly. The king and queen were still optimistic – the Byzantine Emperor had told them that the German King Conrad had won a great victory against a Turkish army (when in fact the German army had been massacred), and the troupe was still eating well. However, while camping near Nicea, the remnants of the German army, including a dazed and sick King Conrad, staggered past the French camp, bringing news of their disaster. The French, with what remained of the Germans, then began to march in increasingly disorganized fashion towards Antioch. They were in high spirits on Christmas Eve, when they chose to camp in a lush Dercervian valley near Ephesus. Here they were ambushed by a Turkish detachment; the French proceeded to slaughter this detachment and appropriate their camp.Louis then decided to cross the Phrygian mountains directly in the hope of reaching Eleanor's uncle Raymond in Antioch more quickly. As they ascended the mountains, however, the army and the king and queen were horrified to discover the unburied corpses of the previously slaughtered German army.On the day set for the crossing of Mount Cadmos, Louis chose to take charge of the rear of the column, where the unarmed pilgrims and the baggage trains marched. The vanguard, with which Queen Eleanor marched, was commanded by her Aquitainian vassal Geoffrey de Rancon. Unencumbered by baggage, they reached the summit of Cadmos, where Rancon had been ordered to make camp for the night. Rancon however chose to continue on, deciding in concert with Amadeus III, Count of Savoy (Louis's uncle) that a nearby plateau would make a better campsite: such disobedience was reportedly common.Accordingly, by mid-afternoon, the rear of the column – believing the day's march to be nearly at an end – was dawdling. This resulted in the army becoming separated, with some having already crossed the summit and others still approaching it. At this point the Turks, who had been following and feinting for many days, seized their opportunity and attacked those who had not yet crossed the summit. The French (both soldiers and pilgrims), taken by surprise, were trapped; those who tried to escape were caught and killed. Many men, horses, and much of the baggage were cast into the canyon below. The chronicler William of Tyre,writing between 1170 and 1184 and thus perhaps too late to be considered historically accurate, placed the blame for this disaster firmly on the amount of baggage (much of it reputedly belonging to Eleanor and her ladies) and the presence of non-combatants.The king, having scorned royal apparel in favour of a simple pilgrim's tunic, escaped notice (unlike his bodyguards, whose skulls were brutally smashed and limbs severed). He reportedly "nimbly and bravely scaled a rock by making use of some tree roots which God had provided for his safety", and managed to survive the attack. Others were not so fortunate: "No aid came from Heaven, except that night fell."

Official blame for the disaster was placed on Geoffrey de Rancon, who had made the decision to continue, and it was suggested that he be hanged (a suggestion which the king ignored). Since he was Eleanor's vassal, many believed that it was she who had been ultimately responsible for the change in plan, and thus the massacre. This did nothing for her popularity in Christendom – she was also blamed for the size of the baggage train and the fact that her Aquitainian soldiers had marched at the front, thus not involved in the fight. Continuing on, the army became split, with the commoners marching toward Antioch and the royalty traveling by sea. When most of the land army arrived, the king and queen had a profound dispute. Although this was perhaps the better military plan, Louis was not keen to fight in northern Syria. One of Louis's avowed Crusade goals was to journey in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and he stated his intention to continue. Reputedly Eleanor then requested to stay with Raymond and brought up the matter of consanguinity – the fact that she and her husband, King Louis, were too closely related. This was grounds for divorce in the medieval period. Rather than allowing her to stay, Louis took Eleanor from Antioch against her will and continued on to Jerusalem with his dwindling army. This episode humiliated Eleanor, and she maintained a low profile for the rest of the crusade. Louis's subsequent assault on Damascus in 1148 with his remaining army, fortified by King Conrad and Baldwin III of Jerusalem, achieved little. Damascus was a major trading centre that abounded in wealth and was under normal circumstances a potential threat, but the rulers of Jerusalem had recently entered into a truce with the city, which they then forswore. It was a gamble that did not pay off, and whether through military error or betrayal, the Damascus campaign was a failure. The French royal family retreated to Jerusalem and then sailed to Rome and made their way back to Paris.While in the eastern Mediterranean, Eleanor learned about maritime conventions developing there, which were the beginnings of what would become admiralty law. She introduced those conventions in her own lands on the island of Oleron in 1160 (with the "Rolls of Oléron") and later in England as well. She was also instrumental in developing trade agreements with Constantinople and ports of trade in the Holy Lands.
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IndigoMystiere's avatar

A powerful woman indeed.

Robin250's avatar
There’s also one thing left out here that has been overlooked: she was also the wife of King Henry II of England, and thus she was the mother of another Crusading King: Richard the Lionheart.
BishonenPrincess's avatar
You're so talented but I can't stop laughing at the skirt wedgie omg. ^^;
Classic cool and gorgeous
Bladeninja76's avatar
Gorgeous head, even if it doesn't seem to match the gigantic sword. Stylish brass armor and shiny shield too.
hawkeye42's avatar
It's sad though i like how the story played out for her . Even though the story was different, i liked how it still played out with the main historical event of the failure of European conquest against  eastern conquest. Overall i love it. its very nice.
MutantBabyProduction's avatar
She'd make a great Soul Caliber character. :D 
Nightshade475's avatar
buns of steel...!
THenkle61's avatar
You do awesome work!
rpgstilltheend's avatar
I just love a sexy warrior woman. Love her looks, her sword, and that miniskirt. Is she going nopan by the way? I doubt that had Victoria's Secret back in the day anyway.
badass girl 
7EternalLove's avatar
Yay:happybounce: ! History ArtHeart ! I forgot about this type of artOops! .
Rafa-Oliveir4's avatar
congratulations for the Work!! Really amazing!
WayneKelly's avatar
So Much Talent! Thank You, For Sharing. 
hrfarrington's avatar
I really love the details and the concept of this piece, but the fabric on her skirt is a bit... distracting... she has a bit of a skirt-wedgie thing going on ^^; Otherwise, this piece is lovely ^^
Martsuia's avatar
so unrealistic 
GENZOMAN's avatar
I wasn't planning to make it "realistic" ;)
Martsuia's avatar
i dont mean the style dummy
NicklausofKrieg's avatar
Now I know this kind of imagery isn't your's or everyone's liking, but isn't the whole point of  "style" or "stylization" to drift away from "realism" in varying degrees? And it doesn't apply only to imagery, ideas and concepts aren't exempt either.
Because nothing screams creative stylization like a spine-snapping boobs n' butt pose. Sure.
NicklausofKrieg's avatar
I didn't say it was "creative", just stylized. The context of my comment was that arguing for realism doesn't apply for a piece that'a clearly a cartoon, not in defense of the creative integrity of the artist.
Martsuia's avatar
NicklausofKrieg's avatar
Oh why? How'd your day go?
Martsuia's avatar
well you see my computer is old and i have a drawing tablet right? i've have been wanting it to work on this computer for a long time and suddenly IT WORKED! And then after that Blender, a 3D software didnt work on my computer before but now IT WORKED ALSO! And now i think its a miracle! Anyways you sir
have a great day!
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