Episode 13: Courtly Love and Courtly Life

Pictured above is the Well of Moses, the centerpiece of the Charterhouse of Champmol. The Well of Moses was sculpted by Claus Sluter with help from his nephew Claus de Werve and painted by Jan Maelwael. All three men were Dutch artists in the employ of Philip the Bold. The left figure is King David while the right one is the Prophet Jeramiah, sculpted to resemble Philip himself. The Charterhouse was a Carthusian Monestary commissioned by Philip to be a resting place for his nascent Burgundian Dynasty.

The Court of Philip the Good was known as one of the foremost centers of art patronage in the late middle ages. But Philip the Good did not start from scratch. The Burgundian Court of Dukes Philip the Bold and John the Fearless were centers of art and culture and set the stage for the opulence and grandeur of the later dukes.

Features Artists and Art

Tres Riches Heurs of John of Berry (The Limbourg Brothers)

The Tres Riches Heurs du Duc de Berry was a book of hours or prayer book created for John Duke of Berry by the Limburg Brothers and is seen as one of the finest illuminated manuscripts of the middle ages. The slideshow above shows the 12 month cycle of the year with each month getting a corresponding illuminated page.

The Romance of the Rose

The Romance of the Rose was one of the most popular works of Courtly Romance during the Burgundian Period. You can view a full illuminated manuscript of the Romance of the Rose on the University of Chicago Library website here.

Christine de Pisan (The Book of the City of Ladies, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, The Tale of the Rose)


Shown above is a tapestry depicting the Biblical figures Joshua and King David. This tapestry is a part of a series of tapestries depicting the Nine Worthies: Prince Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Joshua, King David and Judah Maccabee, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon. A tenth tapestry in this style was created depicting Bertrand Du Guesclin.

Melchior Broederlam

Melchior Broederlam was a Dutch Painter in the service of Philip the Bold and is considered to be a forefather of the Flemish Primitive school of art. Shown here is an exterior panel of an Altarpiece at the Charterhouse of Champmol painted by Broederlam.

Jan Maelwael

Jan Maelwael (Jean Malouel) was another Dutch Painter in the service of Philip the Bold and uncle of the Limbourg Brothers. Shown above is a Pieta painted by Maelwael currently in the Louvre Museum.

Claus Sluter

Other Art and Artists Mentioned:

The Song of Roland, Jean Gerson, The Order of the Golden Tree, Cour d’Amour (Court of Love), The Castle of Hesdin


Philip the Bold by Richard Vaughan

The Golden Age of Burgundy by Joseph Calmette

Magnanimous Dukes and Rising States by Robert Stein

The Waning of the Middle Ages by John Huizinga

The Court of Burgundy by Otto Cartellieri

The Burgundians by Bart Van Loo

The City, the Duke, and their Banker by Bart Lambert

The Order of the Golden Tree: The Gift Giving Objectives of Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy by Carol Chattaway

The Book of the City of Ladies and Other Writings by Christine de Pisan translated by Ineke Hardy

Debate of the “Romance of the Rose” by Christine de Pisan Edited and Translated by David F. Hult

Medieval Costume in England and France by Mary G. Houston


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