Around 1398, after their father's death, the brothers were sent for by their uncle Jean Malouel, the most important painter for the French & Burgundian courts of the time. Herman & Johan learned the craft of goldsmithing in Paris. At the end of 1399 whilst going to Nijmegen, they were captured in Brussels (because of a war). Philip the Bold paid the ransom of 55 gold escuz, for the sake of their uncle Malouel, his painter. The two boys were released in May 1400.