Duc de Nemours Jacques d’Armagnac

(b. c. 1433)

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Jean Fouquet (c. 1420—1481)



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(b c. 1433; d Paris, 4 Aug 1477). French patron. The son of Bernard d’Armagnac, Comte de Pardiac, and Eleanor of Bourbon la Marche, he became Duc de Nemours in 1461. He was in favour with Louis XI until 1465, when he defected to the League of the Public Weal led by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, intent on maintaining the independence of the feudal states from the Crown. An army led by Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, forced Jacques to capitulate; he was subsequently beheaded. He is remembered as a discriminating bibliophile as well as for his political machinations. Jacques employed several copyists, among them Guillaume Olery, who was also a painter. Evrard d’Espinques (a German) and Master Guillaume Alixandre (fl 1476–7) of Paris were his resident illuminators. Around 1465 jean Fouquet painted for him 12 large illuminations in the Antiquités judaïques (Paris, Bib. N., MSS fr. 247 and nouv. acq. fr. 21013). In 1473 the Duke had the illuminator decorate a larger version of the same work (Paris, Bib. N., MS. 9186). Jacques d’Armagnac was apparently Maître François's most faithful patron, commissioning from him a manuscript of the Mirroir historiale of Vincent de Beauvais (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 1196), copied by Gilles Gracien and bearing a date of 1460. About 1465, Jacques commissioned from Maître François the decoration of ‘le Mignon’ or Compendium historiale (Geneva, Bib. Pub. & U., MS. fr. 79). About 1476 Maître François, in collaboration with the illuminator Jacques de Besançon, produced for the Duke the illustrations of Nicole Oresme's translation of Petrarch's De remediis utrisque fortunae (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Codex 2559). The painting by Maître François of a copy of the Cité de Dieu for Jacques d’Armagnac (The Hague, Rijkmus. Meermanno–Westreenianum, MS. LO AII) came to an abrupt halt on account of the patron's incarceration and death. Jacques d’Armagnac inherited prestigious volumes commissioned by his grandfathers Jacques of Bourbon and Jean, Duc de Berry. In 1476 his properties were confiscated; the books, bearing his ex-libris, were appropriated by Peter II (see Bourbon, (3)), Tanneguy du Chastel, Vicomte de La Bellière, and Jean du Mas, Seigneur de l’Isle. Over 70 manuscripts from the collection have been identified in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; others are in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal and the Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, and in Brussels (Bib. Royale Albert 1er), Chantilly (Mus. Condé), Dresden (Sächs. Landesbib.), London (BL) and Vienna (Österreich. Nbib.).

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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