This famous "Madonna" is a part of a diptych that also features a portrait of Etienne Chevalier with St. Stephen (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). Until the French Revolution, the diptych hung above the tomb of Chevalier's wife in the Church of Notre Dame de Melun. The contrast of the red and blue of the seraphim and cherubim with the milk-white skin of the Madonna and Child creates an illusory effect. Maria is said to have the features of Agnes Sorel, the mistress of the French king Charles VII. The historian Johan Huizinga felt that the painting reflected "decadent godlessness" and "blasphemous candour". The surrealists, on the other hand, elevated the "fashion doll with spherical breasts" to a world-renowned icon. Jean Fouquet is the figurehead of the French school of painting, and his style is reminiscent of the paintings of the van Eyck brothers and of the Florentine Renaissance painting that he had become acquainted with in Italy.


  • Title: Madonna surrounded by Seraphim and Cherubim
  • Creator: Jean Fouquet
  • Location: (Tours 1420 - 1471)

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