Robinet Testard

(fl. 1475—1523)

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(fl 1475–1523). French illuminator. He is documented as working for the Angoulême family, but since none of his works is signed or dated, his output rests on attributions. His early attributed works, dependent on the style of the Master of Jouvenel des Ursins, are characterized by compactly drawn moving figures outlined against receding backgrounds, with borders that tend to be spatially complex. Among these are a page in a Missal for Poitiers Use (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 873, fol. 21), the La Rochefoucauld Hours (Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert ler, MS. 15077) and two other Books of Hours (Luxembourg, Bib. N., MS. III:600 and New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus., MS. M. 1001; see colour pl. 3:VIII, fig. 2). Testard's middle period, during which his compositions became tightly constructed and his colouring more sharply defined, is exemplified by a Roman de la rose (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Douce 195), the Nouailher Missal (Poitiers, Cathedral, Treasury) and the Book of Hours (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 1773), very probably produced in Cognac for Charles of Valois, Comte d’Angoulême (1459–96), shortly after 1480. Unusually, 17 engravings of Israhel van Meckenem I were incorporated in the volume and coloured by Testard. Testard remained in the service of the Angoulême family and was made Valet de Chambre in 1484. He produced another Book of Hours (sold Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 21 March 1973, lot 9), a copy of Dioskurides (St Petersburg, Saltykov-Shchedrin Pub. Lib., MS. fr. F. V. VI, 1) and the imaginative illustration of a geographico-mythological compilation after Solinus and Pliny, Les Secrets de l'histoire naturelle contenant les merveilles et choses mémorables du monde (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 22971). An account of Charles d’Angoulême, dated 1487, mentions Testard as an illuminator with annual wages of 35 livres tournois.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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