The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Author Hearing the Story of Gillion de Trazegnies

Object Details


The Author Hearing the Story of Gillion de Trazegnies


Lieven van Lathem (Flemish, about 1430 - 1493)

David Aubert (Flemish, active 1453 - 1479)




Belgium (Place Created)




Tempera colors, gold, and ink

Object Number:

Ms. 111 (2013.46), fol. 9v

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Object Description

This image is the first scene in the manuscript and depicts the events that led to the discovery of the story of the knight Gillion de Trazegnies. According to the author, he was visiting a church where he found an unusual triple tomb of a knight flanked by two women, seen in the foreground in a detailed church interior. These represent Gillion and his two wives.

In the center background, the author of the text, dressed in red cap and blue coat, hears the story of the knight Gillion, who married the daughter of the Sultan of Egypt after mistakenly believing his wife in Europe had died. Next to the tomb, the author appears again, receiving an Italian book that tells of all Gillion's exploits. Finally, in the background at right, the author can be seen translating the text into French.

The artist, Lieven van Lathem, cleverly tells the story in a series of distinct chronological moments that are at the same time linked together in one harmonious landscape. His delicate painting of the characters' faces and lively interactions, such as those of the monks at left, also animate the scene with human emotion and activity that contribute to the flow of the narrative.

Medieval and Early Renaissance Treasures in the North West (1976)
  • Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), 1976
Miracles and Martyrs: Saints in the Middle Ages (August 29, 2013 to March 2, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 29, 2013 to March 2, 2014