This article studies the miniatures that Jean Fouquet painted for a mid-fifteenth-century copy of the Grandes Chroniques de France. I argue that the contextual interpretation of illuminated historical manuscripts must begin by determining how specific events were selected for illustration. In Fouquet's Grandes Chroniques, the choice of subjects is more closely related to the preexisting structure of the text than to the manuscript's immediate political context, indicating that his pictures were more important as images than as illustrations of specific events. Having distinguished image from illustration, I then discuss how his images contributed to the book's persuasive visual appeal, mining contemporary chronicles for a period vocabulary appropriate to Fouquet's images. I then turn to their role as illustrations, analyzing six pictures whose subject matter is clearly related to contemporary French concerns, specifically images of English rulers and French participation in the Crusades.
Inglis, Erik. "Image and Illustration in Jean Fouquet's 'Grandes Chroniques de France'." French Historical Studies, 26/2 (2003), 185-224.
Duke University Press
French Historical Studies