The Spanish Forger is the name given to an unidentified individual who, in the late 19th to early 20th century, created a large number of forgeries of medieval pictures. He was named from the first work identified as a fake, in 1930, which was a panel in the style of Jorge Inglés, who was active in Spain in the 1440s. He seems to have worked over a long period, from the 1880s to the 1920s and is now believed to have been active in France. New York’s Morgan Library curator William Voelkle recently placed the tally of known works at 348. All are in the style of 14th- and 15th-century artists. He “suspects there are more examples in private collections and even some in museums, which have not been recognized”. This is one such newly discovered example of his work.
The scene depicts the meeting and alliance of Richard with King Philip II of France in 1187 against King Henry II. In exchange for Philip’s help against his father, Richard promised to concede to him his rights to both Normandy and Anjou. In 1188 Henry II planned to concede Aquitaine to his youngest son John. The following year, Richard attempted to take the throne of England for himself by joining Philip’s expedition against his father. On 4 July 1189, Richard and Philip’s forces defeated Henry’s army at Ballans. Henry, with John’s consent, agreed to name Richard his heir. Two days later Henry II died in Chinon, and Richard succeeded him as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou.