Thursday, February 04, 2010

Not Really A Wardrobe Malfunction

This is a famous painting by Jean Fouquet which dates from about 1453. It's yet another version of the virgin and child, but this time the model for the virgin is assumed to be one Agnès Sorel, the favorite mistress of King Charles VII. The original painting hangs in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. This copy is in the Renaissance château at Loches.

La Vièrge et l'Enfant, part of the Diptyque de Melun, by Jean Fouquet.

Sorel died suddenly in 1450 at the age of twenty-eight. Her body lies in the church of St.-Ours in Loches, while her heart is entombed at Jumièges in Normandy. Apparently her remains were exhumed in 2004 for an autopsy, which revealed a large dose of mercury in her system. This discovery all but confirmed the historical suspicion that Agnès was intentionally poisoned, but there is still much doubt as to who her murderer was.

I took this photo of the painting in Loches. I cropped out some shadows around the edges of the image, so there is a little bit of the painting missing.


  1. Comme Molière fait dire à Tartufe: "Cachez ce sein que je ne saurais voir!

  2. Those vivid reds and blues have such an amazing contrast!

  3. Is it my poor eyesight, or does neither she nor her baby have nipples? Were nipples a naughty thing back then?

  4. Love the red and blue angels - so unusual. And the red ones look just a hair away from being little devils.

    Mercury - not a good way to go.

  5. Obviously, Fouguet thought Jesus was gay since he depicts him ignoring the available tit and staring at the boy angel.

  6. chm, hehehe!

    evol, the colors are amazing.

    nadege, you should see it in person.

    larry, good call. I guess they didn't allow such vulgarities in the middle ages...

    diogenes, I thought they were supposed to be devils, too, but they all have big wings. My research on the painting states unequivocally that they're angels.

    starman, and he seems to be a little on the plump side.

  7. beautiful painting. you can tell its semi-medieval/semi-renaissance with the hierarchic proportion and linear perspective combo. Fouquet did some really nice paintings. Thanks for sharing!


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