Melchior Broederlam (Ypres, perhaps c.1350–Ypres?, after 1409) was one of the earliest Early Netherlandish painters to whom surviving works can be confidently attributed. He worked mostly for Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and is documented from 1381 to 1409. Although only a single large pair of panel paintings can confidently be attributed to him, no history of Western painting can neglect his contribution.
His early career included a lengthy stay in Italy, where he adopted a sense of space and use of modelling influenced by Trecento painting. From 1381 he was court painter to Louis de Male, Duke of Brabant, and from Louis's death in 1384 worked for his son-in-law and successor, Philip the Bold, although he remained based in Ypres, doing much work, mostly decorative, at Philip's now vanished chateau at Hesdin, which was full of elaborate mechanical devices, of what we might today call a fairground nature, which needed painting. Like many court artists, including Jan van Eyck, he was appointed valet de chambre to the Duke (in 1387), and in 1391 promoted to court painter. He continued to work for Philip's successor John the Fearless, but last appears in the Ducal accounts in 1409.