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Henri Bellechose was a painter from the South Netherlands. He was one of the most significant artists at the beginning of panel painting in Northern Europe, and among the earliest artists of Early Netherlandish painting. Bellechose was an artist who came from the South Netherlands to Dijon to work for the Dukes of Burgundy. There he was appointed court painter to John the Fearless. Almost all of Bellechose's documented work was commissions from the Dukes of Burgundy, with some works for churches in Dijon. However the number of works recorded in the meticulous Burgundian accounts greatly exceed the number that survive; and only two may possibly fall into both categories. His famous Martyrdom of Saint Denis in the Louvre, like other panel paintings by him, was commissioned by the Duke for the Chartreuse of Champmol in Dijon. In April 1420, John the Fearless died, and Bellechose was retained by his successor, Philip the Good. The works recorded in the accounts of the Duke were mostly decorative, including commissions such as coats of arms for funerals, as was normal for court artists, but two altarpieces, neither apparently surviving, were commissioned in 1425 and 1429. Bellechose had a large studio which at its peak consisted of eight assistants and two apprentices. Philip the Good spent more time in the Netherlands where he employed the prodigious Jan van Eyck. We know that Bellechose was still alive in 1440, but absent from Dijon; by January 1445 he had died.
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