The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Thanks to the patronage of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, principally
Philip the Good and, to a lesser extent, his son, Charles the Bold, the southern
Netherlands became the center of some of the finest manuscript illumination
of the last third of the 15th century. Not only was Philip a bibliophile,
but he had more than ample means to attract artists from all over Europe to
enhance his collection. Charles, less the book lover and more the warrior,
had only to carry on his father's already well-established tradition. The
books most commonly commissioned were of a religious nature: Books of Hours
or private devotional manuals. As the Renaissance came north, however, so
too did Humanism, and with it increasing interest in topics of a secular nature,
an interest awakened by the translations of Greek and Roman texts of the early
centuries. It is not surprising that during a time when war had been going
on for a hundred years, Alexander the Great should become a favorite topic.
Southgate MT. The Birth of Alexander. JAMA. 2004;291(14):1677. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1677