The Hours of Etienne Chevalier, No 203: The Wedding of the Virgin

Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 24 r (©) RMN (Domaine de Chantilly)  René
The Hours of Etienne Chevalier, painted by Jean Fouquet, are considered the apex of his art as an illuminator and one of the wonders of Western art.
Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 24 r (©) RMN (Domaine de Chantilly)  René

Artist Jean Fouquet, born in Tours (circa 1415/1420-circa 1480) produced portraits, altarpieces, miniatures and many other works. Etienne Chevalier, the manuscript recipient, born in Melun (circa 1410-1474) belongs to the influential circles of power under Charles VII and Louis XI. The realization of the manuscript is traditionally dated within the years 1450-1461, a strong period for the kingdom of France. The family of Etienne Chevalier held on to it until the eighteenth century, when the manuscript was dismembered and scattered. The Duke of Aumale managed to aquire forty of the sheets in 1891. He had a special cabinet, the Santuario, built in his Château of Chantilly, in order to present them framed and gathered by groups of four.

 

No. 203: Offices of the Virgin for the Advent - vespers. The Wedding of the Virgin: the priest celebrates the wedding of Mary and Joseph in front of a crowd of disappointed suitors holding sticks. Lilies are in blossom at the tip of Joseph's stick, a clear unequivocal symbol. The architecture of the temple where the scene takes place is a reminsicence of Italian Renaissance.

Book Cabinet bindings (26) (c) Bibliothèque et archives du château de Chantilly
Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 24 r (©) RMN (Domaine de Chantilly)  René