Throughout his short career, the Tournaisian historian Paul Rolland (1896-1949) conducted archival research on the painters: Robert Campin, Roger de le Pasture (Rogier van der Weyden) and Jacques Daret. When he died suddenly in 1949, his manuscript was almost ready for publication. However, it never came to be published.
In the Centre for the Study of the Flemish Primitives, the KIK preserves an unpublished text by Rolland based on valuable archive documents on these three pioneers of primitive Flemish painting. Many of the archive documents examined were lost during the Second World War in the bombardments of Tournai. Rolland's original manuscript is a typed text, which is difficult to read in some places, with some annotations and corrections made by the author himself. This text was carefully analysed, transcribed and edited by the Study Centre and provided with a preface.
Paul Rolland's dream is finally realised, after more than 70 years, with the publication of his life's work in the series "Bijdragen tot de Studie van de Vlaamse Primitieven". For each of these painters, Robert Campin, Roger de le Pasture (Rogier van der Weyden) and Jacques Daret, one finds an extensive biographical note with an overview of their works. The text, written smoothly in French, is based on a chronological survey of the archival documents, which are richly complemented in the footnotes by numerous authentic references from these documents and bibliographical references. The choice of illustrations made by Rolland to enhance his publication has been respected by the publishers.
This publication is highly recommended for any researcher or reader interested in these masters and their works.