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Summary Article: Fouquet (or Foucquet), Jean (c. 1420–c. 1481)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French painter, illuminator, and miniaturist. The leading portraitist of his day, he became court painter to Charles VIII in 1448 and to Louis XI in 1475. Several of his religious works, such as his Melun Diptych (about 1450; Musées Royaux, Antwerp, and Staatliche Museen, Berlin) show Italian Renaissance influence.

He probably trained in Paris, and was an accomplished master when he visited Italy about 1445, having already painted his portrait of Charles VII (Louvre, Paris). His art was admired in Rome, where he painted the portrait of Pope Eugene IV (c. 1383–1447), and he evidently studied Italian Renaissance art. He produced exquisite miniatures, notably those for a Book of Hours for his patron Étienne Chevalier (c. 1410–1474), Charles VII's treasurer (Chantilly, Musée Condé), a volume of Boccaccio's Decameron (Munich), and historical compilations, Jewish and French (Bibliothèque Nationale).

On a larger scale Fouquet showed a grandeur and firmness of design (with something of the quality of Gothic sculpture) as well as appreciation of human character, which are displayed in the Deposition (about 1466, church of Nouans-les-Fontaines). Another masterpiece was the diptych, formerly in the cathedral of Melun, now divided into two parts, representing Étienne Chevalier and St Stephen (Berlin) and Virgin and Child (Antwerp), the Virgin of the latter probably an idealized portrait of the mistress of Charles VII, Agnes Sorel (of whose will Chevalier was an executor).

His influence on his contemporaries may be seen in such works as the anonymous L'Homme au verre de vin/Man with Wineglass (Louvre, Paris).

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