📍 🇫🇷 Which Chantilly's Virgin are you?
The great strength of the Condé museum in Chantilly - and a rare strength in our opinion - lies in summing up ten centuries of French art history in just two walking hours.
Let’s illustrate our position with the Virgin Mary - first seen in a dark room where Jean Fouquet’s work is held (completed in ~ 1460 CE, in “Psyché’s Gallery”). Fouquet’s Mary is set in a fairly cold geometric frame, monumental, mostly subordinate to Gothic architectural power. Further on in our journey, Poussin’s realism emerges in a painting entitled “Saint Family” (completed in 1638 CE, found at “Painter’s Gallery”). There, the Christ-child is difficult to carry and Mary stares into space with weary eyes, knowing she will have to support Him until the end...
Finally, near the “Tribune”, a rather theatrical “Annunciation” by Delcloche (painting completed in 1755), full of animated flexions and chiaroscuro effects. No pregnancy test has ever reached such intensity before and since!
The question that remains is this: which Virgin are you today? Which is the closest to your mood?
____ Sources ____
>> Henri Focillon, "The Art of the West in the Middle Ages", 1938