The conference ‘New Perspectives on Flemish Illumination’ in Brussels accompanies an exhibition on Flemish miniatures at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek on show until 30 December; it will continue in Paris from March to July 2012. As my main work over the past year had been on the Alamire manuscripts which are illuminated by leading artists from the Ghent-Bruges school, the conference offered an ideal occasion to introduce the PRoMS project to an art-historical audience. The trip also offered me the opportunity for an in-depth study of three manuscripts which will be included in our case studies (Brussels, KB, Ms. 228 and Ms. 9126, as well as Mechelen, Stadsarchief, s.s.). I was also able to consult eight further manuscripts at the KB which will be included in the project database. Although high quality images of manuscripts allow an advanced study of the material, they cannot replace the consultation of the originals, especially for a thorough study of the illumination and the preparation of the page.
The conference was also an ideal occasion to discuss some of the stylistic problems in the Alamire group with Dr. Dagmar Thoss (Vienna), one of the few art historians who have worked in depth on these manuscripts. Furthermore, I met Erik Verroken who is transcribing account books in Flanders. His next project will be the transcription of the account books in Mechelen, and I hope very much he will come across the name ‘Jacques Scoon’ which is inscribed in one of the beautiful initials which decorate the Choirbook held in the Stadsarchief in Mechelen – which might give the name of the calligrapher.