c.1450. Tempera on wood. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany. Read Note.
Diptych de Moulin was commissioned for the tomb of Etienne Chevalier, treasurer to king Charles VII of France. The right panel shows Etienne Chevalier presented by his patron saint. The left panel, Madonna and Child, is a remarkable work of its time: it seems to cross the border into the sphere of the profane, and the outwardly sacred character of the subject only adds to the effect. The model for Madonna is traditionally said to be Agnes Sorel, the Charles VII’s mistress. The exposure and modeling of her breast presents an erotic value in its own right. The unreal contrast of red and blue in the angels gives the painting surrealistic character. There is no logical composition of spatial depth. However, Fouquet is very careful and sensitive in the execution of the crown and throne. The attention to luxurious details is evidence that he was familiar with early 15th century Netherlandish art