Art Institute of Chicago: A Preview of Kings, Queens and Courtiers Direct from Paris to Chicago's Art Institute--its only North American Stop.


Preview the Show Before You Go.

Chicago, Monday, February 28, 2011. A new exhibition "Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France" went on view yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago.  This is the first major exhibition devoted to this period in French history.  The major portion of the exhibition takes place during the reigns of Charles VIII (1483-1498) and Louis XII (1498-1525), whom interestingly were both married to the same women, Anne of Brittany (Anne de Bretagne).  

Kings, Queens and Courtiers
does a superlative job of marrying the history of the times to the nearly 120 artifacts on display.  This period in French history was a time when France was entering an age of truly rapid expansion and creative energy. Their military campaigns in Italy and occupation of such cultural hubs as Milan, Genoa, and Naples brought forth a new art blending Renaissance styles with the Gothic art of northern Europe.  

Outstanding examples of work from this vital intersection in history include manuscript illuminations by Jean Fouquet, Jean Bourdichon, Jean Poyer and Jean Colombe, who worked for the king and queen; portraits and devotional paintings by Jean Hey (Master of Moulins); massive sculptures, portables, rare pieces of goldsmithwork, stained glass removed from French church windows for the exhibit, wonderful tapestries and an exceedingly rare loan of a work by Leonardo da Vinci and assistants (pictured in the slide show below). The exhibition runs through May 30, 2011 and is free with Museum admission.  111 S. Michigan Ave. 312 443 3626.

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