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the year 1400, the merging of Northern and Italian traditions gave rise
to a single dominant style, the International Gothic style, throughout
western Europe. Painters played the main role in its development. Among
the most important was Melchior Broederlam (flourished c. 1387-1409), a
Flemish artist, who worked in the court of the Duke of Burgundy in Dijon.
According to the records, he lived in Ypres, West Flanders. Nothing is
known about his upbringing and training.
As in the case of so many artists, iconoclasm and wars in the Franco-Flemish
border region destroyed all his work. Only two side panels for the altar
in the Carthusian monastery at Dijon are preserved. From the written records
we know that he was highly esteemed by Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy,
whom he served as court painter and valet de chambre. He participated in
the decoration of Hesdin château, one of the richest and most finely
furnished of the day. As court artist he also painted portraits and designed
costumes. It is recorded that he accompanied the altar to Dijon and visited
His two surviving panels in Dijon, show that he was a painter, who masterly
handled the light effects of light by gradation of color.