He was presumably born in Nijmegen, then in the Duchy of Guelders, which was bought by Philip the Bold in 1473, and is in the modern Netherlands. He probably trained there in the workshop of his father, the artist Willem Maelwael, and is recorded as an artist in 1382. He was the uncle of the famous manuscript illuminators, the three Limbourg brothers, whom he introduced to Philip's service around 1400.
Malouel is recorded as working in Paris painting armorial decorations on cloth for Isabelle of Bavaria, Queen of France, in 1396–97, but by August 1397 he was in Dijon, the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy, where he succeeded Jean de Beaumetz (d. 1396) to the position of court painter to Philip. He retained these positions until his death.] In 1405, soon after the death of Philip, he returned to Nijmegen to marry Heilwig van Redinchaven, bringing her back to Dijon3. In 1415 he died in Dijon, leaving Heilwig and four children. She received a pension from the Duke, and returned to Nijmegen, where she became involved in lengthy litigation over Malouel's estate there. More on Johan Maelwael
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