A later copy of an earlier (lost) work:
White Wedding, or, Hawking at the Court of Philip the Good, or, The
Marriage of Philip the Good, or Mariage du duc de Bourgogne Philippe le
Bon avec Isabelle de Portugal
by Cynthia Virtue
based on investigations by Jack Banyard/Brian James.
short version of this page: this painting was a copy of the original
painting; it was made after 1550, which puts it over 120 years later
than the event it depicts.
Here is the catalog description of the painting, at the Versailles database. NOTE: Many fine detail shots of the painting at this site.
Years and years ago, I first saw this painting in Boucher's 20,000 Years of Fashion
(1965), where it is given an entire full-color page (page 211)
and describes it as "fifteenth century, around 1442." A few years
later, after becoming extremely interested in houppelandes and the
amazing hats worn with them, it was clear to me that many of the
clothing forms, tailoring, and hats in this picture are quite unlike
anything else seen in England or France around this time, but it wasn't
until some dozen years ago that I saw reference to the painting being a
copy of an earlier work.
Indeed, even in this modern age of
Google, Google Image Search, and so on, the details were hard to find.
Jack Banyard wrote to me recently, hoping to dig up some
confirmation of its history, as I had mentioned it as dubious elsewhere
on my web pages here. We threw keyword searches back and forth at
each other until he hit the jackpot, that being the description of the
painting in the database of the owning museum.
Here is his English translation of that page:
Object type: Table
Author / Player: Anonymous
Title: THE MARRIAGE OF PHILIPPE BON.JANVIER 1430
Period: 2nd half 16th century
Materials / Technical: Oil painting; Canvas
Dimensions: 164 H; 120 L
Subject represented: Scene (Duke of Burgundy, Duchess of Burgundy,
collation, crockery, servant, horse, dog, pond, swan, clothing, a hat,
musician, trumpet, arms, village, hunting with bird, tree, house)
Date representation: 1430-1401
Location of conservation: Versailles; National Museum of the castle and
Musee de France
Under Law No. 2002-5, January 4, 2002
Information about the museum
Legal status: State property; Purchase; Musee National du Chateau and Trianons
Acquisition Date: 1897
No inventory: MV 5423; RF 1141
Genesis: Copy; Work related
History: Copying from a painting on wood Burgundian the second half of the fifteenth century
Bibliography: CONSTANS 1980, No. 4995
Photo Rights: Â© Gerard Blot; Meeting of national museums
Copyright notice: Â© Direction des Musees de France, 1986
course, this is terribly frustrating to people who want to recreate any
of these outfits --there are so many of them, with good detail, and
some even shown from the back! This is so rare -- but they
aren't reliable. However, one could at least take an example of
one of these, and use it to hunt for more documentable images from the
original time period.
© 2007 Cynthia Virtue