The History of Belgium says "that near Bouvignes, on the Meuse, stands the ancient castle of Crevecoeur, where, in 1554, 'trois dames distingues,' with others, were beseiged by the French; that these three noble women continued to defend the castle long after the soldiers had all fallen (apres tous les guerriers auronte succombe); and, when the walls were so beaten down by the cannons that they could no longer continue their defense, rather than fall into the hands of the soldiers who had already opened the postern, and were about to seize them, they ascended to the top of the tower, and threw themselves into the Meuse." The following account of the above picture is given in a letter from Brussels: "In the village of Bouvignes, which is tucked under the foot of the great rock on which Crevecoeur stands, I inquired what they knew of the 'trois dames distingues,' and was assured by an old man that, in his boyhood, they often appeared, and that even yet they were occasionally seen, just as the great clock was striking twelve--three women in white, surrounded by a halo of light, the middle one of the group a large dark woman, who waved back defiance as they toppled over the cliff together." [Pp. 5-6.]
Catalogue of the First Annual Exhibition of the Pittsburgh Art Association 1859. Gallery, Morton's Hall, Fifth Street, near Smithfield. Printed by Barr & Myers, Morning Post Job Office.