Project requested by: MikeyBDaman, Leejeri47, Colm Molloy
William I the Conqueror (b. 1028 - d. September 9, 1087), known alternatively as Wiliam the Bastard, is best known as the Duke of Normandy who defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
ARTIST NOTES: I divine that the foremost question being asked is "Why did you make him so FAT?!?"
This depiction is steered toward his later years when it is noted repeatedly that he had become quite corpulent and seemed pregnant for the extent of his belly. There are many reconstructions out there showing a lean and fierce-looking William as he was in his prime, so I opted for the more vulnerable portrait that was never shown.
Keeping in mind that while there are many portraits and coins that are attributed to portray William I, there are actually no confirmed likenesses, so there's no point trying to point out that he doesn't look like the other portraits out there (many of which were painted long after his death). Even the other portraits out there don't look like each other.
Historically, William was described as "Scandanavian looking" which is a set of features descended from the Vikings such as light hair and eyes, long narrow skull, narrow high nose and narrow jaw with an angular cut chin. The complexion would be fair to pinkish.
Eyewitness accounts of William were kind of at odds with one another, depending on the individual. Some said he was reddish-haired, others thought they saw brown hair, while his Viking ancestry could have given him a variation of blonde hair that was on the darker side. He was said to have been clean shaven, burly, robust, nearly 6 feet tall, with a receding hairline and a fierce, but majestic countenance. His deep voice only spoke French, as he never successfully learned English.