¤ This is "My Loyalty" by Katherine Dinger. She does warn, before giving link to her gallery of paintings that there is some nudity in her paintings -- Artwork of Katherine Dinger - New Paintings so please be warned. It was a bit hard to find the gallery as on the "Gallery" page which is titled on the page "Digital Paintings" you have to find the link "for more work head over this way" to reach it. The Gallery page also has a slightly confusing "Back Home" link that takes you to another site of hers, "Pocketmole" which doesn't seem to directly link to the site "The Paintings of Katherine Dinger". Perhaps one is the newer incarnation of the older -- whichever is which -- however I am including both and "The Paintings of Katherine Dinger" includes the paining of interest: "My Loyalty". Katherine Dinger is also known as "jezebel" on deviantART and you can find a large gallery of her work there. The name of the file on some of the sites is "Stark Knight" though the title she gives it specifically on deviantART is "My Loyalty".
What device on the surcoat of yon knight is displayed?
There is a peaceful look on the man-at-arms in this image by Dinger of a 13th century warrior. I might say innocent, however often peaceful and innocent can be confused. The man looks at peace with himself, but might well have seen much and done much. (My guess is 13th century based on armour and sword -- the design on the sword blade could be many things though.)
It is an interesting composition -- with the shafts of light coming down as if in blessing; with the subservient posture; sword held point down, though not gripped like a cross -- in that posture it seems like the knight has either taken on or completed a quest. The image is done from an intimate viewpoint which could be that of a sovereign, whether Monarch, Clergy, or of Romance -- for this would be a time of Troubadour's and Courtly Love. I would tend to think it would be Monarch or Clergy given the trappings of light rays and peaceful intent.
The device on the surcoat is very much hidden. I have passing acquaintance with heraldry and can not readily make out the charge displayed on the coat. Perhaps it is just an artistic piece or perhaps a "badge" of sorts and not a heraldic one at all. It looks a bit like it could be a man being swallowed by some beast, arms and head raised above the upper torso with lower torso and legs already engulfed -- or perhaps Jonah being swallowed by a giant fish-like whale? It might even be some odd floral decoration or decorative sword hilt? I guess it is the herald in me pondering that.
For a warlike figure it is a peaceful composition.
Reading the artist's notes on deviantART I see it is a painting done for a card game, "Game of Thrones".
I fell in love with this piece some time ago by Katherine Dinger. She has taken extreme care in bringing this piece to life. In particular my eyes zeroed in on the exquisite technique used to create authentic looking chain mail fit for an aspiring knight about to go to war. I took great interest in the detail and time she has taken to add more depth to this piece right down to the leather heraldic image upon the knight's chest. The last thing that impressed me was the detail on the sword and the markings which it displays. I can't decide whether the sword's features come from the Viking period because the sword seems part one thing and part another.
If you like an artist that is able to mix up styles and genres -- well then, Katherine Dinger is the artist for you -- because like Forest Gump says "Life is like box of chocolates, you are never sure what you are going to get." One thing is for sure, she will always use an element of surprise.