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Saint Vrain, évêque de Cavaillon, guérit les possédés

1452 entre ; 1460 et
parchemin (peint, doré) H. 22 cm ; l. 14 cm
inv. M-6194
don Wildenstein Daniel (donateur) (1981 acquis)
Rather than scrolls of vegetation or acanthus leaves, fine gilt beading is the simple surround of the image and the introduction to the suffragranship of the bishop of Cavaillon, Saint Vrain, traced in Gothic letters on a band of blue. On this sheet, as in other identified fragments from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier, Jean Fouquet puts together a bold composition that transforms the miniature into a veritable painting. In the nave of the church, before the crowd of the faithful, a few men wearing simple shirts come before the healing bishop who, simply by making the sign of the cross, liberates them from the demons who possess them. Jean Fouquet tells this “story” with rare skill: the faces are highly expressive and the postures varied. Drawing on Italian and Flemish advances in perspective, he exactly renders the appearance of the volumes and gives the figures their proper proportions. Further, the succession of ogives and the alternation of supports prove that he was an attentive observer of Parisian architecture: the space he represents faithfully is a transposition of that of Notre-Dame Cathedral.