MINIATURIST, Flemish
(active 1450s)

Roman de Girart de Roussillon

1450s
Manuscript (Cod. 2549), 395 x 300 mm
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

Direct borrowings from Rogier van der Weyden's paintings can be traced in the illumination of Girart de Rousillon, with an introductory picture that is one of the variants inspired by Rogier's miniature.

Girart de Roussillon, the legendary 9th-century first duke of Burgundy and his bride Berta are being married by a bishop, who is shown joining the hands of the bridal couple. A second bishop and further members of the ducal retinue, including two ladies in waiting holding Berta's train, are also participating in the ceremony, which takes place in the hall of a palace adorned with Girart's old Burgundian coat of arms.

The four small miniatures refer to the following episodes of the book: above and below, the Vandals are besieging the fortress of Roussillon from which Girart takes his name, and which itself is shown on the right. The picture on the left is a fantastic view of the church of Pothières, founded by Girart and Berta.

The illuminations were executed by a Flemish illuminator, called the Master of the Girart de Roussillon, whose name is derived from the present manuscript, which was copied in 1448 in the workshop of Jean Wauquelin in Mons and illuminated shortly afterwards. The Girart Master is generally identified as the Bruges illuminator Dreux Jean, who worked for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. The Master also painted miniatures in grisaille and in colour in various other manuscripts.