A painting by Fleury-François Richard (1777-1852). Original title: Jacques de Molay, grand Maître des Templiers (1806). This masterpiece of flawless composition depicts a scene from Jacques de Molay’s final day. King Philip’s personal confessor is visiting the imprisoned Grand Master of the Knights Templar, attempting to persuade him to admit the guilt for the crimes that de Molay never committed. The priest representing the king is shown sitting on what resembles a throne, while de Molay stands in front of him, shackled. The guard is visibly anxious, perhaps awaiting those who will be coming in order to take the Templar to the place of execution. The dark alcove in the background looks almost like an altar – a reminder of the fact that the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar insisted on daily celebration of mass. It is not easy to interpret the gesturing of the two main characters. Perhaps the confessor wants de Molay to consider divine judgment, while the Grand Master himself points in the direction of the door that will lead him to the seat of the true King who will not find any guilt in him?
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