(b. ca. 1420, Tours, d. 1480, Tours)
Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier1452-60
Manuscript (Ms. 71), 201 x 148 mm
Musée Condé, Chantilly
The picture shows the miniature The Madonna before the Cathedral from the Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier (folio 4r).
The two scenes presented here in succession (Étienne Chevalier and his Patron, and The Madonna before the Cathedral) together make up an organic whole; they are in fact a single composition.
In the right-hand miniature the Madonna, suckling her Child, is seated in a niche framed by a Gothic arch. She wears a crown on her head, her blue cloak sweeps in angular folds to the gold and red patterned carpet. The colours, the elaborately gilded architecture and the monumental handling of space give the composition - despite its small size - a grandeur and solemnity of its own.