CHARONTON, Enguerrand
(b. ca. 1410, Laon, d. ca. 1466, Avignon)

Missal of Jean des Martins

c. 1465
Manuscript (Ms. nouv. acqu. lat. 2661), 366 x 276 mm
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

This manuscript contains a missal, a liturgical book containing the fixed and movable liturgical texts for the ecclesiastical year. It was produced for Jean des Martins, chancellor of Provence, for his private chapel in the Gothic cathedral of Aix-en-Provence. Five full-page sophisticated miniatures adorn the canon of the mass, two of them depict the themes of the Maiestas Domini, showing Christ in Majesty surrounded by the four symbols of the evangelists and a depiction of the Crucifixion. These miniatures are executed in a uniform style and appear to have been done by a single hand, whereas the somewhat varying quality of the 28 historiated initials suggests the collaboration of assistants. The principal miniatures of the Missal are by Enguerrand Charonton.

Set before a crystal-like rocky landscape with the skyline of Jerusalem in the background, the Crucifixion scene on folio 292r includes two monumental figures, the Virgin and St John the Evangelist, standing at the foot of the Cross. The scene is therefore a so-called three-figural Crucifixion, eliminating the otherwise usual crowd of assisting figures and all the accessories so typical of this genre. The miniature, like the others in the present manuscript, betrays the Flemish influence in the manner of Rogier van der Weyden.