Philip the Bold

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Philip the Bold



A Magnificent Duke of Burgundy.

Philip, known as the Bold, was the son of King Jean II of France and Bonne of Luxembourg. He was born 17 January 1342 at Pointoise. After his capture at the Battle of Poitiers (1356), he was made duke of Burgundy by his father in 1363. He married Marguerite of Flanders, an heiress of great landed wealth, in 1369. Eventually, through his dynastic power, Philip formed a Burgundian state that controlled not only what is now eastern France, but much of the Netherlands and what is now Belgium. In some ways he became the second most important person in France, after the monarch Charles V. His reign of some twenty years was known for its patronage of the arts, and especially for the lavish use of highly ornamented fabrics such as silks, velvets, and cloth with gold and silver wire embroidery. He also favored striking color combinations in the costumes of his courtiers. Because of his influence, the colors blue and black became especially important in late fourteenth-century costume. As interest in clothing grew, extravagant displays of costume became civic ritual, and often the duke and his courtiers changed clothes several times a day. Philip's court left detailed records of purchases of fabric, gifts, descriptions of clothes, and inventories of garments that for the first time created what would later be a virtual library of information for those wishing to study the history of costume. Much of this extravagant fashion was financed from the tax receipts of France. He died in what is now Belgium in 1404.


Michelle Beaulieu and Jeanne Bayle, Le Costume en Bourgogne de Philippe le Hardi à la mort de Charles le Téméraire (1364–1477) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1956).

William Pieter Blockmans, Promised Lands: The Low Countries under Burgundian Rule, 1369–1530. Trans. Elizabeth Fackelman. Rev. trans. and ed. Edward Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).

Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold: The Foundation of the Burgundian State (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962).