Πέμπτη, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Jean Fouquet (1420-1480)





 He was born at Tours and is known to have been in Rome between 1443 and 1447, when he painted a portrait, now lost, of Pope Eugenius IV. Much has been made of this Italian journey, the influence of which can be detected in the perspective essays and Classical architecture of his subsequent works, but the strongly sculptural character of his painting, which was deeply rooted in his native tradition, did not succumb to Italian influence.
On his return from Italy Fouquet entered the service of the French court. His first patron was Étienne Chevalier, the royal secretary and lord treasurer, for whom he produced a Book of Hours (1450-60). The Virgin in this work, at Antwerp, is rumored to be a portrait of Agnes Sorel, Charles VII's mistress, whom Chevalier had also loved. It was not until 1475 that Fouquet became Royal Painter (to Louis XI), but in the previous year he was asked to prepare designs for the king's tomb, and he must have been the leading court artist for many years.
Whether he worked on miniatures or on a larger scale in panel paintings, Fouquet's art had the same monumental character. His figures are modeled in broad planes defined by lines of magnificent purity. He was essentially a draftsman, and it was his drawing that imparted to his compositions their balance and clarity. His sculptural sense of form went with a cool and detached temperament, and in his finest works the combination creates a deeply impressive gravity.




                                                                              Madonna



                                                      Portrait of Charles VII of France



                                                                                  Pietà



                                                     Étienne Chevalier with St Stephen



                                                             The Building of a Cathedral



                                                              Caesar Crossing the Rubicon


Miniatures from the Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier

During the Hundred Years' War against the English and beyond, French kings from Charles VII (1422-61) to François I (1515-47) had their court in the Loire valley. It was there that they built many of their finest residences. Jean Fouquet worked there, presumably after having done his apprenticeship as a miniaturist in Paris. A journey he undertook to Rome provided him with further inspiration, which he incorporated into his illustrations with great ingenuity. Most significant are the miniatures for the Book of Hours for Étienne Chevalier, secretary and treasurer to Charles VII. Here we see landscapes typical of the early Italian Renaissance, along with depictions of palaces and castles typical of the Limburg brothers or the Parisian School.
Forty of the magnificent miniatures of Étienne Chevalier's Book of Hours are now treasured possessions of the Museum of Chantilly.




                                                           Job and his False Comforters



                                                     Étienne Chevalier and His Patron Saint



                                                         The Coronation of the Virgin



                                                          The Enthronement of the Virgin



                                                       The Madonna before the Cathedral



source: http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/f/fouquet/index.html



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