Livre des faits de Jacques de Lalaing

Simon Beningabout 1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The vibrant text and illuminations of this manuscript concern the adventurous life of Jacques de Lalaing (1421-1453), celebrated knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and perhaps the most famed tournament fighter of the Middle Ages. The exceptional frontispiece depicting the author composing his text was painted by Simon Bening, considered the greatest Flemish illuminator of the sixteenth century. The manuscript's other 17 miniatures largely concentrate on Jacques de Lalaing's unparalleled feats of arms, as he made his way across Europe challenging and defeating most of the prominent knights of his day. The illuminations are related to the work of the Master of Charles V, who, after Simon Bening, was the leading figure in illumination of this period. The painterly quality seen in the handling of the figures and landscapes, the bright colors, and the dramatically-conceived compositions underscore the excitement that characterized the life of this remarkable knight.


The manuscript, produced about 80 years after Jacques de Lalaing's death, was made for a member of the Lalaing family, no doubt proud of his memorable ancestor who had come to symbolize the ideals of chivalry.


  • Title: Livre des faits de Jacques de Lalaing
  • Creator: Simon Bening, Master of the Getty Lalaing
  • Date Created: about 1530
  • Location Created: Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: Closed: 36.4 × 26.2 cm (14 5/16 × 10 5/16 in.)
  • Type: Manuscript
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors and gold on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2016.7
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Acquired in honor of Thomas Kren, Ms. 114
  • Creator Display Name: Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561) Master of the Getty Lalaing (Flemish, active about 1530)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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