de Cröy

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South Netherlandish family of patrons and collectors. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries members of this aristocratic family played an important role in politics and were closely involved with the Burgundian court. Their collection of manuscripts was one of the most important of the time. It is difficult, however, to establish which manuscripts were acquired by whom. Jean, Count of Chimay (1395–1473), began the collection and ordered many manuscripts on behalf of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Jean's son, Philippe, Count of Chimay (d 1482), commissioned eminent translators, scribes and illuminators, including Jean Wauquelin (d 1452), Jean Miélot (fl 1448–63), David Aubert (c. 1435–79), Jacquemart Pilavaine (fl 1450–85) and Simon Marmion, to enrich the de Cröy library. In addition, some of the manuscripts from the ducal library found their way into the de Cröy collection. The library was inherited by Philippe's son, Charles, Prince of Chimay (1455–1527), who also inherited a number of manuscripts that had belonged to Jean, bastard son of Wavrin. Charles put his ex libris, a bell, on all the manuscripts in the de Cröy collection. In 1511 he sold part of his collection, 78 bound volumes and an unknown number of unbound manuscripts, to Margaret of Austria, ruler of the Netherlands. After her death, the collection passed to her niece, Margaret of Hungary, and in 1559, on the instructions of Philip II of Spain, the manuscripts were placed in the collection of the Dukes of Burgundy at Brussels, where they remain (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er).


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.