Monday, March 12, 2007

Fouquet's Virgin and Child Enthroned

This delicate picture is a frontispiece to Simon de Varie's personal book of hours. The other side of the page features Simon himself kneeling in prayer before Christ and his Mother. It was drawn by Jean Fouquet in 1455 in Tours and is part of the exhibit French Manuscript Illumination of the Middle Ages at the Getty Museum. What a way to get inspired for prayer!

Jean Fouquet was an important artist of his time. According to the Getty Museum,
On a visit to Rome around 1445, Jean Fouquet caused a great sensation when he painted a portrait of Pope Eugenius IV on canvas rather than the more common wood support. The momentous result of this sojourn, where he admired the work of the most innovative Italian artists of the 1400s, was that Fouquet introduced concepts and techniques of Italian Renaissance art into French painting. His subsequent work in panel painting, illuminated manuscripts, and portraiture earned him a reputation as the most important French painter of the 1400s.

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