Tondal Suffers a Seizure at Dinner

Object Details


Tondal Suffers a Seizure at Dinner


Simon Marmion (Flemish, active 1450 - 1489)




Ghent Belgium Valenciennes France (Place created)




Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment

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The narrator of The Visions of the Knight Tondal began his cautionary tale with a prologue: Lord Tondal was young of age and of a very noble house...But he had one thing about him, which I cannot mention without sadness, that he was so confident in his youth, in his good looks, and in his strength, that to the salvation of his soul he never gave a thought....

The miniature at the top of the page represents the first pivotal moment in the story, when Tondal becomes ill at a banquet. The artist, Simon Marmion, set the scene in an upper-class dining hall with a long table, many hovering attendants, and richly attired guests. In the center, Tondal, with his right arm "extended toward a platter of food to help himself," clutches his left hand to his chest. About to collapse, he tells the group that he has had a vision that he is about to die

In this scene, Marmion focused on the descriptive details of a familiar domestic setting and painted the scene with bright, lyrical tones. In contrast, the Hell scenes that follow are more inventive and painted in vivid colors with sharp contrasts.

Related Works
Illuminated Flemish Manuscripts of the Late Middle Ages (July 26 to October 16, 1988)
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"The Visions of Tondal" and Manuscripts from the Time of Margaret of York (April 17 to July 1, 1990)
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A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (June 17, 2003 to February 22, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 29, 2003 to February 22, 2004