The Virgin of Melun or Virgin with Child and Angels is part of a diptych made by the French painter Jean Fouquet.
It is made on canvas, and it is painted around 1450. Measures 91cm high and 81cm wide.
It is currently exhibited in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp (Belgium).
It is commissioned by Étienne Chevalier, knight of the court of King Charles VII of France.
Fouquet had just returned from a trip to learn about the work of Fra Angelico and Piero de la Francesca.
At this same time, the French nobleman commissioned him a Book of Hours.
The Diptych is available in the funeral chapel of Agnès Sorel in the Cathedral of Melun, with the intention of facilitating its entry into the Celestial Kingdom.
During the French Revolution, the two panels were separated and sold.
Currently, the left panel is in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, while the one on the right is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
A small tondo with the artist’s self-portrait also comes from the diptych, now in the Louvre.
A very beautiful and elegant woman appears, with perfect white skin, a very wide forehead and a crown of pearls and rhinestones, holding a transparent veil.
She wears an ermine cape and a gray silk suit, showing her perfectly spherical left breast, an image that has to do with Mary’s role as nurse of humanity.
She holds the naked child on her left knee.
The throne on which he sits is decorated with agates, pearls and precious stones.
Nine angels surround the throne, arranged so that each face is in a different position, the blue ones are cherubs and the red ones are seraphim.
The choice of these colors for the angels is influenced by Fra Angelico.
The Virgin of this work is Agnés Sorel, lover of the noble client, as well as King Carlos VII, and of whom Chevalier was the executor of the will.
She was the most beautiful woman in France.
In the left half Etienne Chevalier is portrayed with his patron saint, Saint Stephen.
This other table measures 93 x 85 centimeters.
Saint Stephen appears dressed as a deacon.
On the book, Saint Stephen carries a pointed stone, symbol of his martyrdom by stoning. For a religious painting, it is profane.
The color is vivid and the lighting is powerful.
The composition of the figures in space is of influence