Sunday, December 5, 2010

Melun Diptych, Jean Fouquet 

For having been painted in 1450, I was personally shocked at how modern this painting looked. One part of a two painting series, this was once displayed in a church. Mary's bare chest is certainly not the first pious image one thinks of. Her incredible paleness is rather shocking as well. While the blue and red angels in the background lend a bit of religious flavor to the image, they are still so uncommon that they divert the viewer from real concentrated reverence. The assumed impiety is only enhanced when one listened to the prevalent rumor as to who the Virgin Mary's person is modeled after: the king's mistress. 

"There is a flavour of blasphemous boldness about the whole, unsurpassed by any artist of the Renaissance."

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