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The Soldiers of Brabant Entering Ravenstein
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Master of the Getty Froissart
Flemish, Bruges, about 1480
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
18 7/8 x 13 3/4 in.
MS. LUDWIG XIII 7, FOL. 318

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In the miniature accompanying the report of a 1380s war between the Flemish duchies of Brabant and Gelders in Jean Froissart's Chronicle , the soldiers of Brabant quietly advance to attack the city of Ravenstein. As troops pass stealthily through a dramatic nocturnal landscape, the sun's last rays create a range of effects, illuminating billowing clouds, metallic armor, and a river whose glassy waters reflect the arches of a bridge. With the vista defined by a rocky hillside in the foreground, forbidding city walls in the middle ground, and a meandering river extending into the distance, this is one of the most developed spatial perspectives in the manuscript. The artist's interest in naturalistic effects, however, also served a dramatic purpose. The falling darkness and stillness of the scene heighten the tension of the Brabant soldiers' imminent attack.