Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier

Étienne Chevalier (c. 1410 - 1474) was the treasury keeper of the French kings Charles VII and Louis XI. He had the artist Jean Fouquet create a number of important works of art: the Melun diptych and a book of hours with illuminations.

In contrast to later books of hours, Fouquet made all the images here himself. The book remained in the possession of the Chevalier family until the end of the eighteenth century. Then it was sold and sadly divided. Of the remaining 48 miniatures, 40 are in the Condé museum, in the Château de Chantilly near Paris.

Chevalier's name is on every image, usually shortened to the initials; his portrait can also be seen in some images. Apparently he was very proud of his position so close to the king, presumably because he was not of noble descent but had worked himself up.

Fouquet made extensive use of atmospheric perspective to give depth to the images: a light colour of the sky suggesting a distant horizon.

Related topics: Illuminated manuscripts

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