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The Author Hears the Story of Gillion de Trazegnies
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Lieven van Lathem
Flemish, after 1464
Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment
14 9/16 x 10 1/16 in.
MS. 111, FOL. 9V

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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.