« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the Fifth,' they formed in Bruges the corporation of St. Luke, of which the first foundation is not distinctly known. It is supposed, however, to owe its origin to Louis de Maele, Count of Flanders, who, during many years of peace preceding the great outbreak in which he was expelled, consecrated his leisure moments to the patronage of art.
Jean de Hasselt had a place of " Paintre de MS.” at the court of Louis.2 His name suggests that he was born at Hasselt, not far distant from the birthplace of Hubert and John van Eyck.
The paintings of Jean de Hasselt are not preserved, but records of them still remain. The following entry in the Comptes de Flandres indicates his services and their value :—"Item, à maistre Jehan de Hasselt, pointeur pour plusieurs estoffes qu'il avait mis hors, du command. MS. pour faire une image de Notre Dame à la maison MS. à le Walle, ainsi que par lettres MS. et cédule des maistres d'hotel appartient, LXVI. 1. XI. s. VIII. den.”3 This entry of the year 1378 shows that Jehan was officially employed in his profession by Louis de Maele. After the death of this prince, in 1384, Jehan continued to hold the office, and painted for Philip the Hardy in 1386," un taveliau d'autel,” for the church of
1 Charles the Fifth, of France, granted to the Academy of St. Luke, of Paris, in 1390, immunity from “ taille” and subsidy, and from all necessity of "garde de ports” and “guet." - Charles VI. confirmed these privileges, in 1391.—Lenoir. Musée des Mon. Fran. Paris. 4to. 1800. Vol. iii. pp. 9, 11.
2 Jean de Hasselt had a yearly pension of twenty 1. de gros.
3 Comptes de Flandres- Compte de Henry Lippin, Mars 1378 jusqu. Mars 1380, apud. Laborde, ut sup., vol. i. Introd. p.50.
the “ Cordeliers” at Ghent.
The price was forty livres.?
ceases to appear in the records of the period, and is succeeded by that of Melchior Broederlain, or Broedlain, “paintre de MS. de Bourgogne, et varlet de chambre.”
The Dukes of Burgundy, on their accession to the title of Counts of Flanders and Artois, brought with them to Bruges the luxurious habits of the Parisian court. Whilst the citizens of Belgium exhibited their wealth in cloths of rich texture, the dukes embroidered their mantles with gold to vie with and surpass the citizens. Truly says De Laborde, quoting Martial of Auvergne, “ on s'harnachaît d'orfaverie.” Not only were the mantles of the dukes and nobles covered with frosted work of gold and silver, but sideboards groaned with plate, and the ducal treasuries were filled with countless figures carved in precious metal, and sparkling with the diamond and ruby. These noble treasures of the chiselled art were
metal in which they were wrought; they served to bribe a lukewarm prince, conciliate enemies, or, when broken up and melted, to pay knights and archers. The obvious use to which these ornaments might be put suggested the necessity of a continual supply. Goldsmiths, therefore,
i Premier compte de Jaque Sereyhem, receveur général, depuis
X jour de Mars, l'an IIII» et VI inclus.
A Jehan de Hasselt, paintre, par lettres MS. données le XXV d'Aoust IIIIxx et VI pour I taveliau d'autel qu'il avait fait au commandement M.S. en l'église des Cordeliers à Gand LX franchs. Payé à lui en rabat de la dite somme XL fr-De Lab, ut sup., Recette de Fland. vol. i. p. 6.
naturally became clever artists and wealthy men, whose attachment it was the policy of the dukes to gain by the gift of places, the duties of which, though not defined, were ever a pretext for gratuities and constant pay. The ducal goldsmiths, and then the ducal painters, were thus early classed as,“ varlets,” though their functions were not menial,—the title coming from France,-and ceasing to be in force only when the dukes and princes abandoned the patronage of art. The dignity of painters suffered nothing from the name of “ varlet,” the artist at that time being as much a man of note as he is now.
If ever prince was proud of show and splendour, Philip, called the Hardy, was the man. He took constant pleasure in making presents of gold and silver images, pictures, diamonds and pearls, to friends and relatives, and even to foes.
“ In 1389,” says Planchet, “Duke Philip, being then in Flanders, sent the king a new year's present of a purse (fermail) of gold, with a lady in an orchard on it, holding in her hand a diamond worth six hundred livres. He sent the queen a golden picture of the Burial of the Lord, with our Lady near him, and the Duke of Berri a St. Catherine of gold.” ?
To soothe England's anger against France, he sends the royal family sets of costly tapestry. “To the Duke of Lancaster, the History of Clovis ;" “ to the Duke of Gloucester, the Story of the Virgin;"—presents received with grateful sense of the honour conferred, but insufficient
1 Planchet. benedictin. Hist. de Bourgogne. fol. Dijon, 1739, vol iii. p. 117.
“to soften or to gain the English mind,” or turn it towards a peace." When his pictures and his sculptures failed to make a friend of England, they were used to ransom prisoners of note. When John the Fearless, Count of Nevers, was taken at Nikopoli, on the Danube, the goldsmith Digne Raponde advanced 200,000 ducats : and the King of Mitylene, coming with good tidings, had a cup of gold carved with figures of the Virgin.” Peace being signed with England, forthwith the Duke presented the British King with a splendid book, containing a picture of St. George; and gave the Duke of Gloucester an image of St. Anthony.” Fine arts at this time contributed to display. In them the taste of princes was exhibited. But they also served a pious purpose ; and the sacristies of churches were thus enriched with chiselled cups and shrines, and the chapels with pictures given by princes to adorn their walls. Art, it is thus discovered, rose from a sentiment of luxury as much as from religion; and this explains why the Flemings lacked that elevated sentiment which can arise alone from the deepest fervour and a strong religious feeling. In 1383, Philip the Hardy laid the first stone of the Carthusian convent near Dijon, That convent, although now in ruins, still remains a noble relic of his taste and wealth. In it he not only spent money in profusion, but he gave ornaments of gold and silver, and covered the walls with paintings and the windows with choice
* Planchet, benedictin. ut sup., vol. iii. p. 136. * Ibid. vol. iii. p. 164. * Ibid. vol. iii. p. 159,
coloured glass. He caused two great shrines or altarpieces to be erected and sculptured by a Fleming, and adorned them with pictures by Broederlain. The walls of the edifice were painted by another of his artists and “varlets,” Jean Malouel." Of the latter, however, no pictures remain, whilst the shrines of Broederlain are still preserved, and form a landmark in the history of Flemish art. . Melchior, it may now be remarked, was a Fleming, and not a painter brought from France by Philip. He had been employed by Louis de Maele in subordinate capacities, as painter of banners and pennons; receiving, according to the “recette de Flandres,” seventy-two livres, fifteen sols., and three dens., “for several works of his profession, and stuffs which he had purchased for the preparation and the finish of these pennons and banners.” Philip of Burgundy took him into his service immediately on his accession, at a yearly pension of 200 livres.” Broederlain at first appears to have confined himself to common labour, such as painting banners
* Courtépée. Desc. Topog. et Hist. du Duché de Bourgogne, —vol. ii. p. 246. De Salles, benedictin, Etat des officiers et domestiques des Ducs de Bourgogne. Mem. p. servir à l’Hist. de France et de Bourgogne, 4to. Paris, 1729, pp. 137-8. De Lab. ut sup., vol. i. p. 565.
* “A Melchior, le peintre MS. pour plusieurs ouvrages de son mestier, et estoffes echatées parli pour MS. pour faire banières et pignons. LXXII l. XVs. IIId.”—Recette de Fland. Arch. de Lille.— Quart compte. Henry Luppin. de l'an MCCCIIII*II jusque May MCCCIIII*III. De Labord. ut sup., vol. i. p. 1.
* “A Melchior Broedlain, pointre de MS. de Bourgogne et varlet de chambre, lequel pointre MS. a retenu a II" francs de pension par an tant comme il lui plaira.”—Recette de Fland, méme Compte. 1885. De Lab, wit Sup., p. 4.