The arms of Jean VI Rolin. Ms 116, Autun

I know I said I was done with Hugo van der Goes, but here is one last addition.

The past couple days I have been compiling the results of the research I have done on the Jouster (see earlier post). Most of his biography is fairly clear, except the question whether or not he won the tournament in Valenciennes. First guess would be not, given his background but that’s not what I want to write about today.

I have some additional documentation on him that was on loose photocopies and papers inside an issue of an old 1900s magazine – L’Art Flamand Hollandais – about the French Primitives. The illustrations in the magazine are in black and white and sometimes that way you notice things that you wouldn’t otherwise. This is the case with a picture that is also on the internet page about Jean Hey but in colour.

The picture is a painting of Mary Magdalene by the Master of Moulins, aka Jean Hey (see earlier post).

When I saw this I was immediately reminded of two paintings.

One of them was the part with Etienne Chevalier and St Steven on the Melun dyptich by Jean Fouquet around 1450, because of the stance of the characters:

The second part of that dyptich is the famous Madonna/Agnes Sorel. I’ve always found the Madonna an odd and interesting but not necessarily beautiful painting. The red angels look pretty demonic.

But the first thing that came to mind was the Monforte painting by Hugo van der Goes:

Now if we mirror Mary Magdalene and put her next to the boys in the back:

Jean Hey is said to have been influenced by Hugo or even have been his pupil. Your guess is as good as mine.

But this is only half of it. Some art work done for Jean VI has been attributed to a collaborator or a follower of Jean Bourdichon, one of the top illuminators who was active during the second half 15th century- first quarter of the 16th. The magazine states Bourdichon is close to the Master of Moulins but not in what sense. I haven’t yet looked into the truth of this statement but in any case, the illustration accompanying this claim is a painting of the dauphin, attributed to Jean Bourdichon, which is now attributed to Jean Hay, according to Wikipedia. Another interesting fact is that Jean Bourdichon was a pupil of Jean Fouquet. I’m beginning to see all kind of interesting links forming.

Other work for Jean VI was done by an artist influenced by the master of the chronique scandaleuse (a chronicle about Louis XI). I haven’t looked into possible ties with the artists mentioned before. It’s definitely worth spending more research time on this.