You are absolutely right, Nic. Attributing dubious documents to Bigou or Saunière seems to be something of a cottage industry, and we must be very wary of such clai; esp.
The arrival at the PRADO conclusion is not so much Teniers as Tenuous. The shepherdess text says Shepherdess NO temptation. We are looking for a painting where Saint Anthony (the Hermit) is NOT being tempted. The fact that BOTH paintings mentioned are at Shugborough for me is significant. Especially since one has a coded message attached to it and the curious activities of Elizabeth Yorke particularly in France.
Personally I find the whole Sougraigne story pretty tenuous. If we assume ...pas de tentation...
not to refer to a certain armchair, then it must surely apply to a work of Teniers, or maybe both. I agree with you about the Shugborough/Elizabeth Yorke French connection. It's no coincidence.
If I had a £100 for everyone who over the last 30 years has leaped up and declared they'd solved this mystery I'd be able to personally irradicate the national debt crisis.
Very true! It's a human weakness to make sweeping claims to have 'solved' mysteries. So many of us crave attention, and some have no scruples whatever over the methods they use, and will resort to fakery if necessary. We also have a continuous stream of academic arrogance to contend with - intent on 'debunking' anything that threatens their position. It is heresy to question the established dogma of academia - which sometimes turns out to be based on flimsy and unscientific methodology. The problem is compounded by purposeful disinformation orchestrated by 'professionals' - secret societies,intelligence agencies, etc. We must be ever vigilant for all these distractions.
I'm assuming the Sougraigne affair to be just another distraction (for now at least), and it may not be what it seems at all. There may have been no falling out between parties. It could all be staged. Why? Publicity? As a diversion from the true site? Who knows? - but it's fishy all the same. Time will tell...
Only too often, when subjected to scrutiny, these amateur 'solutions' evaporate like the morning dew. Many are embarrassingly naive, and some are thoroughly cranky, but their creators tend to be a thick-skinned, stubborn crowd. Each preaches their gospel and they all have their devoted but misguided followers. The Rennes affair attracts cranks like bees to nectar!