The Burgundian World

Cronache de singniori di Fiandra e de loro advenimenti [Ms. 685]

According to the Van Dale dictionary of Dutch, the word ‘burgundian’, without a capital letter, means: ‘Enjoying life and the good things in life or living for that purpose’. As synonyms, the dictionary offers ‘flamboyant’, ‘exuberant’ and ‘lavish’.

The distant origins of the word lie in the opulent court of the Dukes of Burgundy. In the 14th and 15th centuries it attracted numerous painters, sculptors, musicians, illuminators of manuscripts and other artists. From Philip the Bold to Philip the Fair, Flanders and later the majority of the Low Countries were part of their realm. This was the period of the Flemish Primitives, Flemish polyphony and the late Flemish miniaturists.

The Burgundian period and the art that emerged from it continue to appeal to our imagination. This is apparent from the countless recent initiatives and exhibitions devoted to the subject. For instance, 2010 saw the founding of the Flemish Centre for Research into the Art of the Burgundian Netherlands. International interest in the Flemish Primitives and Flemish polyphony also remains considerable.

On this guided tour you will learn about this historical climax and the intriguing world the Burgundians lived in. 

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