Title page

PUCELLE, Jean
(active c. 1319-1334 in Paris)

Biography

Jean (Jehan) Pucelle was a French manuscript illuminator, master of a celebrated workshop in Paris during the 1320s. Little is known of his career, but his large workshop dominated Parisian painting in the first half of the 14th century. He enjoyed court patronage and his work commanded high prices. Certain features of his work - particularly his mastery of space - indicate that he probably travelled in Italy early in his career, and he was also familiar with Flemish developments. It was the synthesis of these two elements, allowing for an increasing penetration of naturalistic representation into traditional iconography, which formed the basis for Pucelle's individual style.

His most celebrated work, the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (1325-28, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), a tiny private prayer book commissioned by the queen, featured numerous drolleries (marginal designs), a style he popularised, and reveals his genius for using sources from Italian and French art to give a playful tone to an essentially religious work. Other works with miniature paintings by Pucelle include the Belleville Breviary (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris).



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