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Pucelle, Jean

PUCELLE, JEAN

Head of a Parisian workshop producing illuminated religious MSS; active c. 1320 to c. 1360. Pucelle's existence is attested by only five 14th-to early 15th-century sources; three fall within his lifetime: his name appears in two books produced in his shop, and c. 1320 he was paid for designing a seal for a Parisian confraternity, traced through MSS from his workshop. His chief works are the Belleville Breviary (Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. 1048384) and the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (The Cloisters, New York). These are distinctive, first, by reason of their decorative detail, typical of his products: the MSS abound with grotesque animals, or heads and figures, or scenes from everyday life (though in this they reflect the general decorative fashion of the times). More remarkable is his apparent knowledge of contemporary Italian art; reminiscences of Tuscany and Tuscan art are frequent, and his experiments in pictorial space mark him as a pioneer in French MS illumination. Most of these features were developed and imitated by later Parisian illuminators, and literal quotations from Pucelle are still found in work of the early 15th century.

See Also: manuscript illumination.

Bibliography: k. morand, Jean Pucelle (Oxford 1962). e. panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting, 2 v. (Cambridge, Mass.1953). j. dupont and c. gnudi, Gothic Painting, tr. s. gilbert (New York 1954). l. baer, u. thieme, and f. becker, eds., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 v. (Leipzig 190738) 27:442443.

[a. martindale]

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