Until now, little was known about manuscript illumination in Hainault before the arrival of Simon Marmion at Valenciennes around 1458. This monograph intends to bridge that gap by highlighting the work of Marc Caussin, a Hainault miniaturist active in Valenciennes from the 1430s to the 1470s. An existing Cambrai missal paired with by a highly detailed contractual account has led to the attribution of fourteen manuscripts to Caussin. Alongside standard devotional books, Caussin illuminated more personalized commissions such as a copy of the Chroniques martiniennesfor Philippe de Croÿ, count of Chimay.
Caussin also worked for other renowned bibliophiles, the most illustrious being the Duke of Burgundy himself, Philip the Good. Caussin’s activity could be placed in context thanks to an abundance of archival sources. Some fifty documents give unique information concerning his family background and his professional network in Hainault and other cities in the southern Netherlands.
Exploited for all the richness of their content, the manuscripts grouped around Marc Caussin have allowed us to reconstruct an artistic, social, religious and intellectual milieu about which very little was previously known.
Dominique Vanwijnsberghe is researcher at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (IRPA-KIK, Brussels), specialized in 15th-century painting and manuscript illumination.
"The profound analyses and the many illustrations make Ung bon ouvrier into an important reference work on Hainaut illumination for years to come. Moreover, the book is a wonderful read because Dominique Vanwijnsberghe tells his story of Marquet Caussin with great animation and passion." (Anne Margreet As-Vijvers, in: Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter, April 2014, www.hnanews.org)