Melun Diptych

Melun Diptych

Artist Jean Fouquet

Date ca. 1450

Movement Northern Renaissance

Medium Oil on panel

Dimensions 36.5 x 33.5″

Housed at Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie


Though Fouquet was trained in Italy, he derives much of his style from the Flemish tradition—note the finely detailed background of marble panels and garments, highlighted to give the impression of bulk. Étienne Chevalier and his patron saint, St. Stephen, gaze into the panel of the Virgin and Child to the right. The Virgin, allegedly, was based off Agnès Sorel, King Charles VII’s mistress; therefore, her portrait is meant to carry a royal beauty and air. Fouquet connects the left panel to this one through the marble panels in Mary’s throne; however, this panel gives no glimpse into a background as the other does, but is filled with vividly covered angels, contrasting starkly with the milky skin tones of the Madonna and her child.