Jacques de Gérines

(fl. 1428)

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(fl 1428; d 1463/4). South Netherlandish bronze-founder. He is documented in Brussels from 1428, when he became a town councillor. He held the offices of receiver in 1435, churchwarden of Notre-Dame-la-Chapelle in 1438 and 1450, and surveyor of the forests of Soigne (1443) and Brabant (1457–9). In 1450 he was asked to advise Philip the Good, 3rd Duke of Burgundy, on the practicability of diverting a stream from the village of Anderlecht to supply the Coudenberg Palace in Brussels. In 1454 and 1458 he received payments for two royal tombs commissioned by Philip the Good. The first was that of Louis de Mâle, Count of Flanders (d 1384), destined for St Pierre, Lille. It included effigies of Louis, his wife Margaret of Brabant and their daughter Margaret of Flanders (Philip the Good's grandmother). The tomb was destroyed during and after the French Revolution, but drawings and engravings show that 24 bronze figures (identified through coats of arms and inscriptions as the various descendants of the first two dukes of Burgundy) were set in niches along the sides of the black stone sarcophagus on which the three bronze figures rested. Jacques de Gérines was paid the huge sum of 2000 gold crowns for the tomb, which was inscribed with his name and the date 1455. The second tomb was made in honour of Joanna of Brabant (d 1406), sister of Margaret of Brabant. The royal accounts show that the tomb consisted of effigies of Joanna and her great-nephew William (d 1410), two angels holding the arms of Joanna at her head and 24 weepers. Jacques de Gérines was paid only 60 crowns for all the figures except the effigy of William, which was supplied by Jean Delemer, who was also paid for repairing the images provided by Jacques de Gérines, all for the sum of 100 crowns. The painter Rogier van der Weyden was paid 100 crowns for colouring the images. Jacques de Gérines's small fee is unlikely to have covered the cost of casting bronze figures. As the sarcophagus itself was wooden, it is possible that the figures were wooden models, perhaps those used to cast the figures for the tomb of Louis de Mâle, which may have been refurbished, coloured and placed on Joanna of Brabant's tomb. Joanna's tomb was destroyed in 1695, but old drawings and engravings reveal that the effigy of Joanna was virtually identical to that of Margaret of Flanders from Louis de Mâle's tomb, and the 24 weepers adorning the sides of Joanna's sarcophagus corresponded closely with those on the earlier monument.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.