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Jean Fouqeut: Book of Hours of Simon de Varie (1455)

(The J.P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA)
Two illuminated pages made by the French artist Jean Fouquet (1420–1481). These two pages come from a book of hours, a Christian devotional book for lay people who wished to incorporate elements of monasticism into their devotional life (it is named after the canonical hours which mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals). This book of hours was the personal prayer book of Simon de Varie (? - after 1463), an official in the French royal treasury. Simon de Varie himself is shown on the right wearing armour (this was a symbol of his noble status as Simon was not a soldier). He is also wearing a surcoat which is decorated with the fleur-de-lis, symbol of France and the French king. Behind him is female attendant supports a shield crowned with his family emblems, while similar coats of arms, now partially overpainted, and Varie's personal mottoes decorate the border. On the left is the Virgin Mary …

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