Wednesday, July 17, 2013

                                                               Melun Diptych


This oil painting by Jean Fouquet, is on the left side of a diptych. The other side is a painting of a queen who resembles the Virgin mary. She has red and blue cherubim on each side of her and a baby in her arms, who is represented as Christ. This part of the panel was dedicated to a king whose dying wish was for his mistress to be painted as the Virgin Mary. Fouquet was employed by Charles VII and Louis XI and was called “peintre du roi” meaning painter to the king. He was called upon to create portraits, manuscript illuminations, altarpieces, ephemeral decorations, and sculptural designs.The left side of the panel which is of course shown above is Étienne Chevalier, the treasurer to King Charles VII of France, kneeling in a red robe in prayer next to St. Stephen, in a dark deacon’s robes with gold trim.His right arm is draped across Chevalier’s shoulder while his left hand holds a book and a jagged rock, his representational attribute as he was stoned to death.The right panel shows the baby that represents Christ pointing to both the patron and the saint as if encouraging his followers to be more like these two men.

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