Jean Bapteur

(fl. 1427—1457)

Quick Reference

(fl 1427–57). Painter, probably of Swiss origin. He worked for the House of Savoy. In July 1427, after a three-month trip through Italy accompanying a Savoyard diplomatic mission, ‘Johannes Batheur de Friburgo’ (probably Swiss Fribourg) settled in Thonon, a principal seat of the House of Savoy. Ducal treasury rolls (Turin, Archv Stato) indicate that as part of his court duties Bapteur painted a statue of St Andrew (carved by ‘Monetus’) and an Apocalypse manuscript, made banners for parades, mummeries, banquets and funerals, decorated carriages and litters and designed tapestries, costumes and masks. In the summer of 1432, assisted by ‘Dominico de Venise’ (?Domenico Veneziano), ‘Perenet lenlumineur’ (peronet Lamy) and artists from Lausanne, Geneva and Metz, Bapteur arranged lavish heraldic decoration in the new chapel and hall of the Château de Thonon for Amadeus VIII (reg 1391–1434), the 1st Duke of Savoy. Two years later at Seyssel, Bapteur, with his wife and five other painters, decorated the ships destined to take Amadeus's daughter Margaret down the River Rhône to meet her prospective husband, Louis III of Anjou. The same year he painted and gilded a picture above a door at Ripaille, Amadeus's hermitage on the south shore of Lake Geneva. In 1438 he supplied a tapestry-maker with a pattern of the device and arms (a white cross on a red field) of Amadeus's son Louis (reg 1434–65), and when Amadeus was elected Pope by the Council of Basle the following year, Bapteur prepared a ‘pallio et certis paramentis’ (‘a pallium and certain other vestments’) for him. In 1453 Bapteur spent three months in Fribourg painting the arms of Savoy on the city gates and several buildings.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.