The Hours of Etienne Chevalier, No 204: The Annunciation

The Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 6 r  (©) RMN René-Gabriel Ojéda
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.
The Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 6 r  (©) RMN René-Gabriel Ojéda

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. 204: Hours of The Holy Spirit - Matines 

 

The Annunciation: it takes place in the Holy-Chapel of Bourges, faithfully represented. A kneeling Angel Gabriel faces the Virgin Mary as she rests seated, between two books, one open, one closed, symbolizing respectively the Old and the New Testament.

Book Cabinet bindings (26) (c)Library and archives of the Chateau of Chantilly
Hours of Etienne Chevalier, Ms. 71, f. 6 r  (©) RMN (Domaine de Chantilly)  René