Froissart Kneeling before Gaston Phébus, Count of Foix
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Master of the Soane Josephus
Flemish, Bruges, about 1480
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
18 7/8 x 13 3/4 in.

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Within an impressive stone house surrounded by an extensive walled garden, the poet, historian, and cleric Jean Froissart, author of the Chronicle , kneels before the Count of Foix. Raising his hat in homage, Froissart presents a letter of introduction, hoping to conduct research for his book. This miniature on the opening pages of the third volume of Froissart's account of European events of the 1300s asserts the eyewitness quality of his history by presenting him in person before one of his sources. For his narrative, Froissart interviewed witnesses, drew upon his own direct observation, and recorded gossip accumulated from frequent stays at the courts of England and France.

The taste of the dukes of Burgundy for large, illuminated history books was shared by other rulers who also patronized Flemish artists. An important member of the English court, perhaps even the king himself, probably commissioned this copy of the third book of Froissart's Chronicle . The owner is not known, however, since parts of the border of this opening page that were destined for the owner's heraldry and motto were left unfinished.