Leaves from the Hours of Charles de Martigny

Jean Bourdichon


Talented and versatile, Jean Bourdichon (1457-1521) painted on panel as well as parchment. He succeeded his teacher, Jean Fouquet (1420-1481), as court painter in the early 1480s and served under four successive French monarchs: Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII, and Francis I. Bourdichon was admired for his skill as a portraitist; his expansive landscapes and intimate interiors; his captivating night scenes with dramatic light effects; and his illusionistic frames and floral borders, creative adaptations of Italian and Flemish models. The high demand for Bourdichon’s works required the help of assistants and their involvement is evident in two of the miniatures from Charles de Martigny’s Hours, but the Mass of St Gregory, with its life-like portrait of the patron, was completed by the master.