The Virgin and Child Enthroned (Book Image (crop from .1v))

Jean Fouquet

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

In the second frontispiece image of this book of hours, the Virgin Mary and Jesus sit enthroned. On the facing page, the manuscript's patron Simon de Varie kneels in homage. Together these two miniatures function like a diptych, a two-part hinged altarpiece. The image of Varie in prayer before the Virgin testifies to his personal devotion to her. It is also particularly appropriate as an introduction to Varie's personal book of hours, for in reciting his prayers he pays homage to the Virgin, much as he is pictured in prayer before her.

Jean Fouquet's simple presentation gives this scene its grandeur. The Virgin and Child sit in three-quarter profile in a room defined only by its receding tile floor and deep red curtains. The Virgin's long golden hair, fine facial features, and narrow shoulders give her a youthful and delicate appearance, drawing on the contemporary ideal of female beauty. On the other hand, her erect posture and the fullness of her expansive robe convey a regal and powerful presence. Fouquet enlivened the dominant colors--shades of blue for the Virgin and Child's gowns and red for the wall hangings--with shimmering gold highlights.


  • Title: The Virgin and Child Enthroned (Book Image (crop from .1v))
  • Creator: Jean Fouquet
  • Date Created: 1455
  • Location Created: Paris, France; Tours, France
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 11.4 × 8.3 cm (4 1/2 × 3 1/4 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.ML.27.1v
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Partial gift of Gerald F. Borrmann, Ms. 7, fol. 1v
  • Creator Display Name: Jean Fouquet (French, born about 1415 - 1420, died before 1481)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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