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Born circa 1420 in Tours; died there between 1477 and 1481. French painter; seminal figure in French art of the Early Renaissance.
From circa 1440 to 1445, Fouquet lived in Paris; between 1445 and 1447 he visited Rome. He was named official painter to the king in 1475. Fouquet’s miniatures on religious and historical subjects are remarkable for their realistic depiction of events (usually transposed to a contemporary French milieu), their subtle color tonality, and their use of elements of linear and aerial perspective.
Notable among Fouquet’s religious miniatures are those contained in the book of hours for Etienne Chevalier (1450–55, Condé Museum, Chantilly). Fouquet’s historical miniatures include illustrations to the Great Chronicles of France (1458, National Library, Paris), to a French translation of Boccaccio’s The Lives of Great Men and About Famous Women (1458, State Library, Munich), and to The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Jo-sephus (1470–76, National Library, Paris). His portraits display an incisive line; they include portraits of Charles VII and the royal chancellor, Jouvenel des Ursins (both in the Louvre, Paris), and Etienne Chevalier With St. Stephen (left panel of the Melun Diptych, c. 1451, State Museums, Berlin). Fouquet is also known for religious paintings that exhibit precise drawing and a refined use of color; examples are the right panel of the Melun Diptych (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp) and the Nouans Pietà (Nouans Church).
REFERENCESPerls, K. G. Jean Fouquet. Paris, 1941.
Wescher, P. Jean Fouquet und seine Zeit, 2nd ed. Basel, 1947.