Jean Fouquet

Jean (or Jehan) Fouquet (1420–1481) was a preeminent French painter of the 15th century,[2] a master of both panel painting and manuscript illumination, and the apparent inventor of the portrait miniature. He was the first French artist to travel to Italy and experience first-hand the early Italian Renaissance.

Jean Fouquet
Jean Fouquet, self-portrait (1450). The earliest portrait miniature, and possibly the earliest formal self-portrait.[1]


He was born in Tours. Little is known of his life, but it is certain that he was in Italy before 1447, when he executed a portrait of Pope Eugene IV, who died that year (the portrait survives only in much-later copies).

Upon his return to France, while retaining his purely French sentiment, he grafted the elements of the Tuscan style, which he had acquired during his period in Italy, upon the style of the Van Eycks, forming the basis of early 15th-century French art and becoming the founder of an important new school.

He worked for the French court, including Charles VII, the treasurer Étienne Chevalier, and the chancellor Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins. Near the end of his career, he became court painter to Louis XI.

His work can be associated with the French court's attempt to solidify French national identity in the wake of its long struggle with England in the Hundred Years' War.[3]

One example is when Fouquet depicts Charles VII as one of the three magi. This is one of the very few portraits of the king. According to some sources, the other two magi are the Dauphin Louis, future Louis XI, and his brother.

Les funérailles d Étienne Chevalier

The burial of Étienne Chevalier

L Adoration des Mages

Charles VII as one of the three magi.

Entrée de Charles V à Paris

Entry of Charles V in Paris on 2 August 1358, Grandes Chroniques de France (1455-1460)

Hommage d Édouard Ier à Philippe le Bel

From Grandes Chroniques de France illustrated by Jean Fouquet, 1455-1460 Paris


Jean Fouquet 006
Left wing of the Melun Diptych depicts Etienne Chevalier with his patron saint St. Stephen. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

Fouquet's excellence as an illuminator, his precision in the rendering of the finest detail, and his power of clear characterization in work on this minute scale secured his eminent position in French art. His importance as a painter was demonstrated when his portraits and altarpieces were for the first time brought together from various parts of Europe for the exhibition of the "French Primitives" held at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Fouquet Madonna
La Verge amb el Nen: - Right wing of Melun Diptych; Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, showing Charles VII's mistress Agnès Sorel (c.1450). Wood, 93 x 85 cm, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Anvers

His self-portrait miniature would be the earliest sole self-portrait surviving in Western art, if the 1433 portrait by Jan van Eyck—usually called Portrait of a Man or Portrait of a Man in a Turban—is not in fact a self-portrait, as some art historians believe.

Far more numerous are his illuminated books and miniatures. The Musée Condé in Chantilly contains forty miniatures from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier, painted in 1461 for Chevalier. Fouquet also illuminated a copy of the Grandes Chroniques de France, for an unknown patron, thought to be either Charles VII or someone else at the royal court.[4][5] Also from Fouquet's hand are eleven of the fourteen miniatures illustrating a translation of Josephus at the Bibliothèque Nationale. The second volume of this manuscript, unfortunately with only one of the original thirteen miniatures, was discovered and bought in 1903 by Henry Yates Thompson at a London sale, and restored by him to France.

The Melun Diptych. One of Fouquet's most important paintings is the Melun Diptych (c. 1450), formerly in Melun cathedral. The left wing of the diptych depicts Étienne Chevalier with his patron saint St. Stephen, and is now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. The right wing shows a pale Virgin and Child surrounded by red and blue angels and is now at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. Since at least the seventeenth century, the Virgin has been recognized as a portrait of Agnès Sorel.[6]

The Louvre has his oil portraits of Charles VII, of Count Wilczek, and of Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins, and a portrait drawing in crayon.


Construction du Temple de Jérusalem

Construction of the Temple of Jerusalem

Pompée dans le Temple de Jérusalem

Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, as described in Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Jean Fouquet - The Martyrdom of St Apollonia - WGA08031

The Martyrdom of Saint Apollonia

Jean Fouquet- Portrait of the Ferrara Court Jester Gonella

Portrait of the Court Jester Pietro Gonnella, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Pietà de Nouans

Pieta of Nouans Church of Nouans-les-Fontaines

Portrait du pape Eugène IV

Copy of the lost Portrait of Pope Eugene IV

See also


  1. ^ As opposed to the artist inserting a small portrait of himself into a much larger religious scene. A 1433 painting by Jan van Eyck (Portrait of a Man) is widely believed to be a self-portrait.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ Erik Inglis, Jean Fouquet and the Invention of France: Art and Nation after the Hundred Years War. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011)
  4. ^ "Grandes Chroniques De France". Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Erik Inglis, "Image and Illustration in Jean Fouquet's Grandes Chroniques de France," French Historical Studies, 26/2 (2003), 185-224.
  6. ^ Snyder, J. (1985). Northern Renaissance art painting, sculpture, the graphic arts from 1350 to 1575. New York: Abrams; p. 247.


External links

1420 in France

Events from the year 1420 in France.

1450s in art

The decade of the 1450s in art involved many significant events, especially in sculpture.

1452 in France

Events from the year 1452 in France.

Book of Hours of Simon de Varie

The Book of Hours of Simon de Varie (or the Varie Hours) is a French illuminated manuscript book of hours commissioned by the court official Simon de Varie, with miniatures attributed to at least four artists; hand A who may have been a workshop member of the Bedford Master, the anonymous illustrators known as the Master of Jean Rolin II, the Dunois Master (hand C) and the French miniaturist Jean Fouquet. It was completed in 1455 and consists of 49 large miniatures and dozens of decorative vignettes and painted initials, which total over 80 decorations. Fouquet is known to have contributed six full leaf illuminations, including a masterwork Donor and Virgin diptych. A number of saints appear - Saint Simon (de Varie's patron saint) is placed as usual alongside Saint Jude (folio 41); other pages feature saints Bernard of Menthon, James the Greater and Guillaume de Bourges.The book was divided into 3 volumes by its 17th century owner Philippe de Béthune. Two are currently housed at National Library of the Netherlands, in The Hague and were acquired in 1816 and 1890. The third was long thought to be lost, but resurfaced in 1983 when it was rediscovered by art historian and medievalist James Marrow in the possession of an antiquarian bookseller in San Francisco. That volume contains 97 leaves, and is today in the Getty Center in Los Angeles.The book is unusually ornate and beautiful, and measures 11.7 cm x 8.5 cm. The two Hague volumes have identical armorial bindings added by their 17th-century owner Philippe de Béthune (1561–1649). Its first major art historical treatment was published in 1902 by Paul Durrieu.

Curvilinear perspective

Curvilinear perspective is a graphical projection used to draw 3D objects on 2D surfaces. It was formally codified in 1968 by the artists and art historians André Barre and Albert Flocon in the book La Perspective curviligne, which was translated into English in 1987 as Curvilinear Perspective: From Visual Space to the Constructed Image and published by the University of California Press.


Fouquet (Foucquet) is a French surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Bernard Foucquet, sculptor active in Sweden, c.f. sv:Bernard Foucquet

Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, duc de Belle-Isle (1684–1761), French general and statesman

Christophe Fouquet (born 1974), French bobsledder

Guillaume Fouquet de la Varenne (1560–1616), French chef and statesman

Jean Fouquet (1420–1481), French painter

Louis Charles Armand Fouquet (1693–1747), French general

Nicolas Fouquet (1615–1680), French superintendent of Finances under Louis XIV of France

Pierre-Claude Foucquet (1694–1772), French organist and harpsichordist

Thierry Fouquet, the head of Opéra National de Bordeaux in 1996-2016

French Renaissance

The French Renaissance was the cultural and artistic movement in France between the 15th and early 17th centuries. The period is associated with the pan-European Renaissance, a word first used by the French historian Jules Michelet to define the artistic and cultural "rebirth" of Europe.

Notable developments during the French Renaissance include the spread of humanism, early exploration of the "New World" (as New France by Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier); the development of new techniques and artistic forms in the fields of printing, architecture, painting, sculpture, music, the sciences and literature; and the elaboration of new codes of sociability, etiquette and discourse.

The French Renaissance traditionally extends from (roughly) the French invasion of Italy in 1494 during the reign of Charles VIII until the death of Henry IV in 1610. This chronology notwithstanding, certain artistic, technological or literary developments associated with the Renaissance arrived in France earlier (for example, by way of the Burgundy court or the Papal court in Avignon); however, the Black Death of the 14th century and the Hundred Years' War kept France economically and politically weak until the late 15th century.

The reigns of Francis I of France (from 1515 to 1547) and his son Henry II (from 1547 to 1559) are generally considered the apex of the French Renaissance.

Gibbet of Montfaucon

The Gibbet of Montfaucon (French: Gibet de Montfaucon) was the main gallows and gibbet of the Kings of France until the time of Louis XIII of France. It was used to execute criminals, often traitors, by hanging and to display their dead bodies as a warning to the population. It was a large structure located at the top of a small hill near the modern Place du Colonel Fabien in Paris, though during the Middle Ages it was outside the city walls and the surrounding area was mostly not built up, being occupied by institutions like the Hôpital Saint-Louis from 1607, and earlier the Convent of the Filles-Dieu ("Daughters of God"), a home for 200 reformed prostitutes, and the leper colony of St Lazare.First built in the late 13th century, it was used until 1629 and then dismantled in 1760. As reconstructed in images by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc it had three sides, and 45 compartments in which people could be both hanged and hung after execution elsewhere. A miniature of about 1460 from the Grandes Chroniques de France by Jean Fouquet, and also a print of 1609, show a somewhat less substantial structure than that in the reconstructions, which may, like others by Viollet-le-Duc, make the structure grander and more complex than was actually the case. The miniature shows bodies hanging from beams running across the central space, resting on the piers, but Viollet-le-Duc shows slabs running round the sides. Both show a substantial platform in masonry, which ran round a central space at ground level in the reconstructions, entered by a tunnel through the platform, closed by a gate. Another print of 1608 shows only two tiers of compartments rather than the three of Viollet-le-Duc. The English travel writer Thomas Coryat saw it at about the same time and described it as "the fayrest gallowes that I ever saw, built on a little hillocke ... [with] fourteen pillars of free stone".The structure was also used for displaying the bodies of those executed elsewhere; in 1416 the remains of Pierre des Essarts were finally handed back to his family after three years at Montfaucon. Like an alarming number of other victims, Essarts had been one of the four royal treasurers.

The gibbet was a great favourite of popular historians and historical writers of the 19th century, appearing in historical novels including The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) by Victor Hugo, Crichton (1837) by William Harrison Ainsworth, and La Reine Margot (1845) by Alexandre Dumas; both the last two tales centred on the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

Grandes Chroniques de France

The Grandes Chroniques de France is a vernacular royal compilation of the history of France, most manuscripts of which are luxury copies that are heavily illuminated. Copies were produced between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the text being extended at intervals to cover recent events. It was first compiled in the reign of Saint Louis (d. 1270), who wished to preserve the history of the Franks, from the coming of the Trojans to his own time, in an "official" chronography whose dissemination was tightly controlled. It was continued under his successors until completed in 1461. It covers the Merovingian, Carolingian, and Direct Capetian dynasties of French kings, with illustrations depicting personages and events from virtually all their reigns.

It survives in approximately 130 manuscripts, varying in the richness, number and artistic style of their illuminations, copied and amended for royal and courtly patrons, the central work of vernacular official historiography. Over 75 copies are illustrated, with between one and over 400 scenes shown; analysis of the selections of subjects reveals the changing political preoccupations of the different classes of patrons over time.Following the contemporary styles of illustration seen in other manuscripts, early copies had mostly fairly small scenes, normally with a patterned background rather than a landscape or interior setting. In front of this a number of figures were engaged in key historical moments, especially battles, coronations, weddings and important meetings. There might be over 200 such scenes illustrated, often collected together as individual compartments in a full-page miniature with a decorated framework. By the mid-15th century the number of illustrations was fewer, around 50 even in lavish copies, but the miniatures were larger, and now had lovingly detailed landscape or interior backgrounds. Scenes of ceremonial moments, now often including large crowds, had become more popular, though battles retained their place.

Hours of Étienne Chevalier

The Hours of Étienne Chevalier is an illuminated book of hours commissioned by Étienne Chevalier, treasurer to king Charles VII of France, from the miniature painter and illuminator Jean Fouquet.

Only 48 of its leaves with 47 miniatures survive, dispersed across seven collections in Europe and the United States of America. 40 of these illuminations are held at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France.

Klaus Perls

Klaus Gunther Perls (1912–2008) was born in Berlin, Germany, where his parents were art dealers. He studied art history in Munich, but after the Nazis stopped granting degrees to Jews he moved to Basel, Switzerland and completed his studies. Here, he wrote a dissertation on the 15th-century French painter Jean Fouquet.

List of Renaissance figures

This is a list of notable people associated with the Renaissance.

Melun Diptych

The Melun Diptych is a two-panel oil painting by the French court painter Jean Fouquet (1425–1480) created around 1452. The name of the diptych came from its original home in the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame in Melun. The left panel depicts Etienne Chevalier with his patron saint St. Stephen and the right panel depicts the Virgin and Christ child surrounded by cherubim. Each wooden panel measures about 93 by 85 centimeters and the two would have been hinged together at the center. The two pieces, originally a diptych, are now separated. The left panel now resides in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin and the right panel is now located at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. A self-portrait medallion is also associated with the two panels. Measuring 6 centimeters in diameter, it would have adorned the frame, and consists of copper, enamel, and gold. The medallion is now located in the Louvre in Paris, France.

Queen of Heaven in Catholic art

The depiction of the Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven has been a popular subject in Catholic art for centuries.

Early Christian art show Mary in an elevated position. She carries her divine son Jesus in her hands, or holds him. After he ascended into heaven to reign in divine glory, Mary, his mother, assumed into heaven and participates in his heavenly glory. One of the themes in the depiction of the Virgin as queen is Coronation of the Virgin, often built on the third phase of the Assumption of Mary in which following her Assumption, she is crowned as the Queen of Heaven. Narrative pictures of the Coronation of the Virgin may often be distinguished from allegorical pictures of the Queen of Heaven by the appearance in them of events from the last days of the Virgin on Earth, such as the deathbed and the Apostles and friends weeping for her.The earliest known Roman depiction of "Santa Maria Regina", depicting the Virgin Mary as a queen, dates to the 6th century and is found in the modest church of Santa Maria Antiqua (i.e. ancient St. Mary) built in the 5th century in the Forum Romanum. Here the Virgin Mary is unequivocally depicted as an empress. As one of the earliest Roman Catholic Marian churches, this church was used by Pope John VII in the early 8th century as the see of the bishop of Rome. Also in the 8th century, the Second Council of Nicaea decreed that such pictures of Mary should be venerated.The Virgin as queen was a recurring theme in many books composed in her honor in 13th century France. In the Speculum beata Maria she was at once queen of Heaven where she was enthroned in the midst of angels, and queen of Earth where she constantly manifested her power. The concept was carried over to art that decorated churches, e.g. the west porch of Chartres Cathedral and in the Porte Sainte-Anne at Notre Dame, Paris where she is seated in regal state, as well as in a window at Laon Cathedral.

In the early 16th century, Protestant reformers began to discourage Marian art, and some like John Calvin or Zwingli even encouraged its destruction. But after the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century confirmed the veneration of Marian paintings for Catholics, Mary was often painted as a Madonna with crown, surrounded by stars, standing on top of the world or the partly visible moon. After the victory against the Turks at Lepanto, Mary is depicted as the Queen of Victory, sometimes wearing the crown of the Habsburg empire. National interpretations existed in France as well, where Jean Fouquet painted the Queen of Heaven in 1450 with the face of the mistress of King Charles VII. Statues and pictures of Mary were crowned by kings in Poland, France, Bavaria, Hungary and Austria, sometimes apparently using crowns previously worn by earthly monarchs – a surviving small crown presented by Margaret of York seems to have been that worn by her at her wedding to Charles the Bold in 1463. A recent coronation was that of the picture of the Salus Populi Romani in 1954 by Pius XII. The veneration of Mary as queen continues into the 21st Century, but artistic expressions do not have the leading role as in previous times.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (Dutch: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen) is a museum in Antwerp, Belgium, founded in 1810, houses a collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. This collection is representative of the artistic production and the taste of art enthusiasts in Antwerp, Belgium and the Northern and Southern Netherlands since the 15th century. The museum is closed for renovation until 2020.

The neoclassical building housing the collection is one of the primary landmarks of the Zuid district of Antwerp. The majestic building was designed by Jacob Winders (1849–1936) and Frans van Dijk (1853-1939), built beginning in 1884, opened in 1890, and completed in 1894. Sculpture on the building includes two bronze figures of Fame with horse-drawn chariots by sculptor Thomas Vincotte, and seven rondel medallions of artists that include Boetius à Bolswert, Frans Floris, Jan van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Quentin Matsys, Erasmus Quellinus II, and Appelmans, separated by four monumental sculptures representing Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics.

The building stands in gardens bounded by the Leopold de Waalplaats, the Schildersstraat, the Plaatsnijdersstraat, and the Beeldhouwersstraat.

School of Paris (Middle Ages)

School of Paris refers to the many manuscript illuminators, whose identities are mostly unknown, who made Paris an internationally important centre of illumination throughout the Romanesque and Gothic periods of the Middle Ages, and for some time into the Renaissance. Among the most famous of these artists were Master Honoré, Jean Pucelle and Jean Fouquet.The Limbourg brothers, originally from the Netherlands, also spent time in Paris, as well as Burgundy and Bourges, but their style is not typical of the School of Paris of the day.

Many of the painters in Parisian workshops were women. Gradually, especially from 1440 onwards, Parisian illuminators lost international customers, such as the English elites, to their Flemish competitors, based in particular in Bruges and Ghent. Around the same time Tours became for a time the most important French centre.

The French Union of Modern Artists

The French Union of Modern Artists (French: Union des artistes modernes; UAM) was a movement made up of decorative artists and architects founded in France on 15 May 1929 and active until 1959.Initially made up of around 20 dissidents of the Société des Artistes-Décorateurs (SAD) and led by Robert Mallet-Stevens, the UAM offered a strong and militant alternative to the SAD. Motivated towards making a clean break from the past and struggling against objects in style, artists of the union proclaimed 'We must rise up against everything that looks rich, against whatever is well made, and against anything inherited from grandmother...impose will where habit is not invoked...overcome the habit of the eyes'. Young makers of jewellery joined the union with aims to create works of art in their field through the use of less expensive materials, making it more accessible than the current trend of expensive bijoux blancs.UAM members participated annually in the Salon d'Automne with an exhibit created by 'The Group', and emphasized design over decoration. Interiors were designed to function with concrete, steel and glass architecture and furniture made of metallic structures was arranged within, without additional decoration. Their message was amplified through various shows and manifesto's (its first in 1934 'For Modern Art as a Frame for Contemporary Life') and activity peaked at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris where Francis Jourdain's rationalist work was displayed in his interior design for A Workers Home; Marcel Gascoin's storage and organization capabilities were displayed in his library exhibit; Charlotte Perriand exhibited folding chairs with steel tubing; and Jean Prouvé introduced one of the first chairs constructed with the new material - Plexiglas.

Members included as 'Actifs' on the 'catalogue de la première exposition de l'UAM, 1930 (catalogue of the first exhibition, 1930)':

Charlotte Alix (1897–1987)

Pierre Barbe

Louis Barillet (1880–1948)

Georges Bastard (1881–1939)

Jean Burkhalter (1895–1982)

Jean Carlu (1900–1989)

Paul Colin (1892–1985)

Etienne Cournault (1891–1948)

Joseph Csaky (1888–1971)

Sonia Delauney (1885–1979)

Jean Dourgnon (1901–1985)

Jean Fouquet (1899-1984)

Eileen Gray (1879–1976)

Hélène Henry (1891–1965)

René Herbst (1891–1982)

Lucie Holt-Le-Son (1899-???)

Francis Jourdain (1876–1958)

Robert Lallemant (1902–1954)

Jacques Le Chevallier (1896–1987)

Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886–1945)

Pablo Manes (1891–1962)

Jan & Joel Martel (1896–1966)

Gustave Miklos (1888–1967)

Jean Charles Moreux (1885–1956)

Charlotte Perriand (1903–1999)

Jean Prouvé (1901–1984)

Jean Puiforcat (1897–1945)

André Salomon (1891–1970)

Gérard Sandoz (1914–1988)

Louis Sognot (1892–1969)

Raymond Templier (1891–1968)

Œvres de Pierre Legrain (1889–1929)Other members include:

Rose Adler (1892–1969)

Francis Bernard

André Bloc (1896–1966)

A.-M. Cassandre (1901–1968)

Philippe Charbonneaux (1917)

Pierre Chareau (1883–1950)

Marcel Gascoin (1907–1986)

Adrienne Gorska (1899–1969)

Pierre Guariche (1926–1995)

Gabriel Guevrekian

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) (1887–1965)

Pierre Jeanneret (1896–1967)

Frantz-Philippe Jourdain

Jean Lambert-Rucki

Claude Lemeunier

Charles Loupot

André Lurçat,

Mathieu Matégot (1910–2001)

Charles Peignot

Georges-Henri Pingusson (1894–1978),

Claude Prouvé (1929)

Robert Le Ricolais (1894–1977)

Carlo Rim (1905–1989)

André Salmon

Roger Tallon (1929)

Maximilien Vox

Theatre director

A theatre director or stage director is an instructor in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production (a play, opera, musical, or devised piece of work) by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision for it. The director thereby collaborates with a team of creative individuals and other staff, coordinating research, stagecraft, costume design, props, lighting design, acting, set design, stage combat, and sound design for the production. If the production is a new piece of writing or a (new) translation of a play, the director may also work with the playwright or a translator. In contemporary theatre, after the playwright, the director is generally the principle visionary, making decisions on the artistic conception and interpretation of the play and its staging. Different directors occupy different places of authority and responsibility, depending on the structure and philosophy of individual theatre companies. Directors use a wide variety of techniques, philosophies, and levels of collaboration.

Étienne Chevalier

Étienne Chevalier (c.1410 in Melun – 1474) was a major civil servant of the French kings Charles VII and Louis XI. He is also notable for commissioning two major works by Jean Fouquet - the Melun Diptych (which he gave to the Collégiale Notre-Dame de Melun) and the Hours of Étienne Chevalier (in which he is shown twice praying before the Virgin, to whom he is presented by his patron saint Stephen).

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