On the basis of reports that Jan van Eyck visited England (he was well traveled in the service of Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy), this essay speculates freely on what the diplomat and painter actually did in and around London for three weeks in 1428. The essay claims, for example, that van Eyck went to the village of Foots Cray to buy watercresses to use as models when painting greenery on the Ghent Altarpiece of the Mystic Lamb (which he completed in 1432). The recently erected gateway to the palace at Greenwich is said likewise to be the model for a towered gateway depicted on the altarpiece. After providing local detail about relevant parts of England in 1428, the essay closes with speculation (although the author writes, “The facts are known”) about the origin of a harp, of a purportedly Welsh variety, appearing on the altarpiece in the hands of an angel. The author argues that it was the instrument of an itinerant Breton musician whom van Eyck had heard in recital at the Poor Clares convent of the Holy Trinity at the Minories in Aldgate. The harpist subsequently murdered his Stepney landlady and was himself killed by enraged local housewives. Van Eyck is said to have purchased the man's harp when his worldly goods were posthumously sold.

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