Journal of the Northern Renaissance

~ Radical Open Access ~

Emotional Afterlives and Counter-Cultural French Renaissances: Schongauer, Fouquet and Quarton Reloaded, 1875-1904


[1] This article concerns three ‘French’ Renaissances – those of Martin Schongauer, Jean Fouquet and Enguerrand Quarton between 1875 and 1904. Of these three, only Fouquet’s late nineteenth-century revival has been the subject of scholarly attention. Of the other two, one has been borrowed as ‘French’ – that of the German artist, Martin Schongauer – and both have remained neglected. Moreover, not one of the three has had the emotional field of their reception considered as a focus of interest, despite new studies on Renaissance affects (Meek and Sullivan 2015), ‘performing’ emotions (Maddern, McEwan and Scott 2018) and the role of emotions in responses to historical periodization (Lynch and Broomhall 2021: 2). Evoked as frequently turbulent, often melancholy, prideful, exalted, erotic, even hateful, but rarely indifferent, this article aims to illuminate three Northern artist ‘Renaissances’ as active objects of cult, pathos and future-making, considering the ways in which the centrality of emotions in the uses of their histories and memory contributed to this transformation. It examines their pivotal, yet neglected, French Third Republic appropriations which are implicated, on the one hand, in constructing new cultural identities of Republican ‘nation-hood’. Yet on the other, is the sharpened potency of these Renaissances and their objects of fascination to create counter-cultural, emotive histories of recovery, and in particular, of belonging.

[2] Framed by the Colmar Unterlinden Convent as a ‘lieu de mémoire’ (Nora 1984) a first focus is Republican interest in both Colmar and the Rhenish artist, Martin Schongauer, as a threshold figure. I shall explore Schongauer’s co-option in 1875 as a torchbearer of a newly-annexed Rhine-lands which activates Colmar, Alsace and the former Burgundian lands as the nexus of a rescued and projected glory, uneasily entwining an emotive idea of nation and shadow monarchy, post 1871.  A second concern is how this narrative of entangled Northern Renaissances builds via key patrimony discourses after 1875. Arguably most important, is Jean Fouquet’s and Enguerrand Quarton’s staging in the monumental 1904 Louvre exhibition, Les Primitifs français, as avatars of the secular, modern nation. Considering the 1904 exhibition’s less-studied pretexts and contexts will shed new light on deeper tensions at play in the claims for, and constructions of, Fouquet and Quarton pre- and post-1904 as exemplary French Renaissance secular emblems, and their emotional power as afterlives to be exalted and vilified as ‘other’ via their occulted Catholic heritage. Indeed, as we shall see, in Quarton’s and Fouquet’s cases, lauded and denounced as a ‘cosmopolitan’ (Dimier 1910: 87-88), they become touchstones in an embodied contest for the Republic’s ownership of its artists and objects, pasts and present.

1 Recoveries:  Schongauer’s lieux de mémoire

[3] I start by considering what motivated an expanding interest Northern Renaissance art and visual culture, in particular, in the idea of a French Renaissance, in the early Third Republic, and what did this mean? The 1870s ‘recovery’ of the fifteenth-century German, Colmar master, Martin Schongauer’s art and that of his Workshop marks a threshold at which a particular, emotively-charged and in Schongauer’s case, a conflicted Northern Renaissance cultural legacy and memory, becomes written, imaged and embodied in a developing narrative about the Republic’s modernity. This narrative turns as much on an ambition to illuminate, yet re-imagine alternative histories, pasts and sites of cultural and political renewal, as it frames present nation-making. Among the multiple ‘Renaissances’ and artists re-invented as emblems of Third Republic ideals – such as Florentine, Venetian, Roman, Milanese, vaunted by French Romantic artists and writers (Bann 2015: 32-35) and distilled notably by Charles Blanc in his 1876, ‘Ecole Florentine’ for his landmark, Les Artistes de toutes les écoles[1] – the Alsatian painter-engraver, Martin Schongauer’s Rhenish Renaissance pivots on a different, yet equally ambitious ‘recovery’. Indeed, it is as a ‘recovery’ in an uncanny sense, rather than as a Renaissance, of an artist and place entwined with conflicted pasts and acute recent trauma, that Schongauer’s revival and the Colmar Musée Unterlinden is presented by the Alsatian artist and art historian, Charles Goutzwiller, in his 1875 monograph, Martin Schongauer et les artistes de son école.  Even so, Goutzwiller’s treatment of Martin Schongauer also nuances and complicates him as a ‘revival’ figure. Further, it is Schongauer’s presentation, shifting from a Renaissance memory emblem to uncanny presence, and his centrality in Goutzwiller’s projection of the Unterlinden Convent as a turbulent memory site, which arguably loosens the boundaries of national temporalities and their ‘presentism’ that Hartog sees to be problematic in Nora’s ‘lieux de mémoire’ (Hartog 2015: 104-5).

[4] Indeed, Goutzwiller’s study, almost wholly overlooked by scholars, relegated to an art-historical footnote, is in key ways new.[2] It brings Schongauer’s art to visibility in ways that redress his marginalized artistic legacy within the galaxy of Renaissances implicated in building the French Early Third Republic, mainly Italian, epitomized by Charles Blanc’s Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles and its triumphalist emblems of Republican ‘progress’ (Simpson 2011: 239-240).  What is more: Goutzwiller’s Schongauer points to what these histories, such as Blanc’s, and the present neglect.  It amplifies the liminal potencies of intertwined pasts – Franco-Burgundian-German, their problematic claiming as unitedly ‘French’ – and the porosity of cultures and objects of belonging across borders of time and territory, as alternative sites of devotional memory and a differently constituted ‘patrie’.

[5] Thus, on one level, Goutzwiller’s purpose is to rescue Martin Schongauer and the Unterlinden collections from the shadows of history, conflict and near-ruination. As he opines in his opening chapter, his vision is to restore and illuminate from tumultuous events (‘le souffle des événements’: Goutzwiller 1875: 1), a monument and its objects as ‘a sanctuary of the arts’ (‘un sanctuaire des arts’). His is a retrieval that resonates with a growing interest in and studies on German medieval and Renaissance masters during the Second Empire, in particular, Schongauer, Dürer and Holbein (the Elder and Younger).[3] However, in no sense does Goutzwiller’s replay their more negative treatments as naive ‘primitives’ and semi-‘barbares’ notably by Emile Galichon in his dismissal of Schongauer’s art of vulgar emaciated types (Galichon 1865) or his denunciation of Dürer’s ‘ugliness’. Worse is Dürer’s fall from Romantic grace as a visionary distilling, for Jules Michelet, ‘the genius of the Renaissance’ (‘le génie de la Renaissance’, Michelet 2014: 73-4) to a mere superstitious ‘Gothic’:  a label and characterization as Ernest Chesneau insists in his 1868 Les Nations rivales, runs thoroughly counter to what ‘un art des Nations’ should evince and embody.  Yet on another level, Goutzwiller’s ‘Schongauer’ moves beyond a narrative of individual artist restitution to a larger pitch for recovery of and restoration by the now bitterly divided patrimony of Alsace-Lorraine. The title-page, showing Goutzwiller’s own 1867 engraving based on portrait thought to be of Schongauer,[4] recreates his image as a suggestive portal to the Unterlinden as an actively sacred and liminal site. Through Goutzwiller’s hand, it animates Schongauer’s image and memory as the touchstone of a deeper political and emotional redress for the sundered patrimony and its treasures – for a ‘dear’ Alsace (‘un Alsace bien-aimée’: Goutzwiller 1875: ‘Notice’, np). Indeed, Goutzwiller’s opening words make vivid this connection with an artistic and cultural ‘recovery’ saturated with deeper feeling. It is a pathos of divided histories, of shadows and decay, but as insistently, of ‘other’ community and spiritual belonging:

Since 1793, this ancient Convent of the Unterlinden, which has endured for six centuries, which served as refuge for its Dominican community, celebrated in the history of German spirituality, has submitted to countless profanations…

(Depuis 1793 cet antique couvent des Unterlinden des Colmar, qui durant six siècles, avait servi de séjour à la communauté des Dominicains, célèbre dans l’histoire du mysticisme allemande, a subi des profanations sans nombre …) (Goutzwiller 1875: 1)

There is grief and trauma expressed here in the invocation of ‘submission’ (‘a subi’); a few lines earlier, we hear of ‘distressing’ (‘affligeant’) plunder. Yet there is defiance; there is mission, too, echoed in Goutzwiller’s ‘countless profanations’ (‘profanations sans nombre’). From this woeful time, as Goutzwiller avers, ‘which cast its veil of sadness over the work of the Middle Ages, stifling under its parasitic vegetation, a monument worthy of a more glorious purpose’ (‘qui jetait son voile de tristesse sur l’oeuvre du moyen-âge …’), ‘the moment of its Renaissance has arrived’ (‘le moment de la Renaissance devait arriver pour lui’) (Goutzwiller 1875: 2). Above all, he insists, it is Martin Schongauer who crowns this vision of place, patrie and ‘a museum worthy as the chief destination of the Upper Rhine’ (‘un musée digne du chef-lieu du Haut-Rhin’: Goutzwiller 1875: 2). The efforts of the Société Schongauer now realized, Schongauer’s monument stands, as if an embodied past, a living patrimony sculpted by the contemporary Colmar artist, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi as the Unterlinden cloister portal and image-clé.       

[6] Not only does Goutzwiller here conjoin an idea of an interwoven Northern artistic heritage and its shadow French worlds, but also Netherlandish, Burgundian, German – all seemingly converge in Alsace. In linking Schongauer and his ‘artistes Colmariens’, including notably Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece,[5] by their intense expressivity as by geography (Goutzwiller 1875: 7),[6] he brings the devotional weight of this past to a deeply conflicted present in spotlighting Bartholdi’s statue of ‘Schongauer’ (1860: Fig.1). Indeed, Bartholdi’s sculpture, La Malédiction de l’Alsace was one of many works by Goutzwiller’s nineteenth-century Alsatian artists for an ‘Alsace in mourning’ (‘Alsace en deuil’) as Robert Lethbridge puts it to be included in the intensely political 1872 Salon (Lethbridge 2020: 57). Here, by contrast, the focus on Schongauer’s and the Unterlinden’s linked presentation as an intertwined ‘Renaissance’ evokes a further emblematic restitution of connected pathos, rather than mourning, as a cultural Franco-German peace-making effort: a convent and its art to re-make peace not war.

Figure 1: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, Statue of Martin Schongauer, c.1858-63. Vosges sandstone. Musée Unterlinden, Colmar (Haute-Rhine). Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

[7] Yet, there is another, more occulted purpose at work pivotal for this discussion. In effect, Goutzwiller’s efforts to re-inscribe Schongauer in a genealogy of living artistic heritage and memory-construction, rescued from pillage and ruin, and  as a figure, borrowed for France, of political restitution and healing, all turns on his creation of Schongauer’s identity at the crossroads of an entwined Catholic (French) Burgundian and German Rhenish culture.  

[8] At its core, for Goutzwiller – and with Schongauer as vehicle – is both an artistic and spiritual reparation. If at times dry, the duty to scholarly precedent bordering on tedium,[7] the emotional subtexts of this Rhenish Renaissance, and Goutzwiller’s fine engravings of Schongauer’s and the Unterlinden’s arguably most precious objects, illuminate insight. Like Bartholdi’s monument, they are a palpable, speaking past. He sees this evinced above all in the Rogerian, yet highly individual character of Schongauer’s Madonna of the Roses (‘La Vierge aux roses’: 1473, Eglise St-Martin, Colmar: Fig. 2), with its sense of intense majesty and tangible vulnerability. And Goutzwiller compels us to linger for a moment on its qualities of wistful delicacy: the frail tracery of flowers, the silky shimmer of birds’ plumage, the inwardness of its Madonna (‘le frêle tissu des fleurs […] l’éclat soyeux du plumage des oiseaux’, Goutzwiller 1875: 40). Even more plangent is Schongauer’s Pietà. For Goutzwiller, being a work of such concentrated diversity yet of unified expressive force (and tellingly here, he inserts the German, und alles ein), that it reveals, as he avers, ‘an origin foreign to German art of this epoch’ (‘une origine étrangère à l’art allemande de cette époque’ Goutzwiller: 4-5). Thus, Schongauer emerges as the artist pivot of a liminal nexus of crossed histories (‘histoires croisées’) to borrow Werner’s and Zimmermann’s term (2006: 39-40), and this idea could be applied to the particular narrative Goutzwiller constructs of entangled and obscuredRenaissances’, his ‘Schongauer’ is a torchbearer of a suggestive liminality, and renewal. Goutzwiller’s key insight is his palpable connection between a pathos, even trauma of Schongauer’s art to arouse intense feelings about divided patrimonies – of objects and peoples – and their compelling resonance for navigating an uncertain present. But more than this is Schongauer’s potency for redress in a memory of a revivified Burgundian kingdom, uniting the Rhine-lands, Lorraine and Flanders (Goutzwiller’s ‘une seule unité’/und alles ein) as the shadow ‘other’ emotional pole of 1870s nation-making.

Figure 2: Martin Schongauer, Madonna in the Rose Garden, c.1473. Oil on wood. Colmar: Eglise des Dominicains. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

2 ‘Rediscoveries’: Fouquet’s Burgundian North

[9] While Goutzwiller may not be a front-rank name, Martin Schongauer, past, present and re-imagined arguably becomes so, projected through Goutzwiller’s efforts and those of his linked Colmar-Strasbourg networks, art-historians, museum directors on the 1870s map as a key emblem of another Renaissance, a different Republic. Indeed, ‘rediscovery’ of the Burgundian past in its expanded geo-cultural sweep, from the Netherlands, Northern France to the Hapsburg Empire borders, and of shifting borderlines of Gothic, pre-Renaissance heritage, is a pivotal, if overlooked, early Third Republic concern. It is a theme, demonstrably promoted by the period’s leading historians, notably by Blanc; in Louis Courajod’s lectures on French Renaissances at the Louvre (1878: 1888), via inventories and the archaeological discoveries of Jules Labarte (1879) on the heritage of Charles V to construct a genealogy of cultural ‘nationhood’ from the late 1870s onwards, to image and musealize its ‘origins’. This includes substantial efforts to grapple with entangled pasts, as highlighted, in the case of Colmar’s conflicted Franco-German artistic patrimony, with histories and dynastic legacies perceived as problematically composite and fluid, and with the persistence of a pre-modern Catholic medieval cultural heritage linked with the provinces, and former Burgundian lands, and suppressed devotional cults and practices. Such uneasy survivals and afterlives, for example, are vividly manifest in a new attention accorded to pre-Renaissance objects as ‘Vierges ouvrantes’ (Depoin 1882: 13-15), seen as magic-working relics of a distant age, yet connected with a liminal present (as underscored by the ‘rediscovered’ yet mystery-enfolded ‘Vierges’ at Alluyes and Maubuisson: Hartnell 2019; Simpson 2022: 190-92).  

[10] These expanded ‘Renaissances’, their emotional links with porous pre-Renaissance Northern and Rhenish medieval objects and sites in a history-making for the Republic’s present, extend, but complicate Jules Michelet’s central perception of ‘Renaissance’ in his 1855 Renaissance as a dynamics of history, and of Italian Renaissance culture, principally about progressive change and renewal. Rather, of significance for this discussion, is the activation of historical and cultural ‘turning points’ and figures of history that work recursively in ways similar to Georges Didi-Huberman’s idea glossing Aby Warburg’s Wanderstraßen (‘wandering images’) of ‘spectral time’ (Didi-Huberman 2002: 61-63). That is, they manifest as ‘afterlives’, liminalities, present pasts – as Schongauer is characterized vividly by Goutzwiller – destabilizing boundaries of place, pre-modern and modernity. What is often overlooked is that they also mark emotional turning points. They disturb stable narratives, periodicities and cartographies of Renaissance art that continue to develop multiple meanings, beyond what Stephen Bann refers to as the ‘climatic example of Michelet’.[8] These are tensions pivotally to the fore in the two artist ‘rediscoveries’ as ‘Renaissances’: Jean Fouquet and the Avignon Master from Laon, Enguerrand Quarton, on display as spectacular genealogical centrepieces in the 1904 Louvre exhibition, Les Primitifs français. While one projects a synthetic, if layered ideal of the origins of secular nation-hood, the other, as we shall see, becomes a powerful focus for its uncanny, yet equally passionate ‘other’.

[11] First, turning to Jean Fouquet’s ‘Renaissance’. What is key here is that neither Fouquet, nor for that matter can Enguerrand Quarton, be characterized as ‘Renaissance’ or (specifically ‘French Renaissance’) artists. Both arguably are ‘Gothics’ if we apply narrow markers of chronology, style and periodicity, albeit in Fouquet’s case, his work’s Gothic-Renaissance borderlines are highly fluid. In fact, André Chastel’s perception of a ‘mental block on the late Gothic/Renaissance dichotomy’ as too its entanglements with identities about what might be construed as ‘European’ or ‘national’, remains a blind-spot which goes far beyond questions of style or ‘school’ (Chastel 1981: 77-8). This entanglement of temporal and geo-cultural identities anticipates recent scholarly treatments, which in relation to Fouquet, have placed greater emphasis on Fouquet’s cultural ‘polyvalence’,[9] his art’s fusion of Gothic-Burgundian and Italian Renaissance elements; and too its construction as courtly, worldly and devotional. That polyvalence which also characterizes Quarton’s known works which draw on both Northern European-Flemish and Provençal-Mediterranean influences as established in Charles Sterling’s landmark 1983, Enguerrand Quarton (Haskell 1994: 552-564; Thiébault, Lorentz and Martin 2004: 112-15), although barely explored in relation to his 1900s ‘primitifs’ contexts, is key to understanding what mattered in Fouquet’s and Quarton’s rediscovery and staging as Renaissance ‘primitives’ and why this becomes so emotional. Arguably central, is the heightened appeal of Northern identities, at their most expansive, perceived as potent standard-bearers to re-imagine the present, even if this is inescapably tied to a nation-centric vision in its constant tussle with who and what belongs.  As we shall now see, it is precisely Fouquet’s and Quarton’s susceptibility to be perceived as Gothic and/or Renaissance, their shifting artistic and cultural identities across boundaries of patrons and piety, of territory, memory and its ownership, that mattered for their late nineteenth-century rediscovery, and in Quarton’s case, reanimation.  Fouquet sits in this expanded context on the very cusp of modernity (see Inglis 2011): a modernity, which for Jacques Le Goff, is a potent dynamics of what he calls the ‘successive modernities’ of Europe’s late Middle Ages’ and several ‘renaissances’ that precede ‘Renaissance’ (Le Goff, 2005: 162). However, for Fouquet’s tournant-de-siècle apologists, this ‘modernity’ also marked the threshold of a temporal, political and emotional renewal and awakening as foreshadowing a new spirit of French national identity. In this sense, Fouquet’s co-option by the late 1880s and early 1890s as the lodestar for a ‘French Renaissance’ makes him ostensibly not quite a counter-cultural figure. But the emotions sparked by 1904 would change that.

[12] As is well explored, Fouquet was active as a painter and illuminator for the courts of Charles VII (1422-61) and Louis XI (1461-83) (Avril 2003). Born in Tours, few details, however, remain known of his early life. In 1443-7, he spent periods in Rome at the papal court of the humanist Pope Eugenius IV. Doubtless it was this contact, and Fouquet’s growing international reputation, which under Charles VII’s patronage and within a Valois-Flemish-Burgundian milieu, propelled Fouquet’s subsequent renown for his illuminated works, notably the Hours of Etienne Chevalier (Charles VII’s treasurer, c.1452), and what is regarded as his masterpiece. This is the double portraits of the donor, Etienne Chevalier and St Stephen and the Virgin whose features are recognizable as the King’s mistress, Agnès Sorel (Kemperdick 2018: 143-51), known as the Melun Diptych (c.1455: Figs 3 and 4). As Otto Pächt contends in an early study of the cultural milieux which shaped Fouquet’s style, ‘he [Fouquet] was the first French artist who can be called an international figure’; yet Pächt also points out Fouquet’s appearance ‘when French art […] had ceded its place to other nations’ (Pächt 1940: 85). It is the lineaments of an ‘international’ life – of an artisan turned artist-individual, a Gothic-Renaissance cosmopolitan, a cultural power-player, in short, of a modern, that by the early 1890s, brings Fouquet from the shadows of history to light, from a pre-modern, medieval sphere to late nineteenth-century modernity, from court to ‘communité’; from Burgundy to France.  However, Pächt’s important early insight about international ‘recognition’ or lack of it, indicates that by the early 1900s, in building Fouquet’s ‘French’ Renaissance credentials, this artist ‘rediscovery’ as a patriotic ‘primitif’ was as much focused on his emotional and political, as cultural currency. Thus the Jean Fouquet consecrated by Henri Bouchot’s and Georges Lafenestre’s 1904 Les Primitifs français in their visual and narrative showcase of ‘the invention of nation’ (Bouchot and Lafenestre 1904: xii), did not appear unannounced, but is anticipated in Louis Courajod’s influential lectures on Renaissance art between 1887 and 1896.

Figure 3: Jean Fouquet, Etienne Chevalier with St Stephen (Melun Diptych), c.1455. Oil on oak panel. Berlin: Gemäldegalerie. Image credit: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: Dietmar Gunne, public domain.
Figure 4: Jean Fouquet, The Virgin and Child surrounded by Cherubim and Seraphim (Melun Diptych),c.1450. Oil on oak panel. Antwerp: Royal Museum of Fine Arts, public domain.

[13] Of key, yet overlooked importance for the emotional contexts excited by 1904,[10] is Courajod’s focus on Fouquet as the lynchpin of a critical reorientation in the temporal and geo-cultural borderlines of what may be conceived as or belong to ‘Gothic’ or Renaissance art. Salient is his insistence that the origins of ‘Renaissance’ are richer, more diverse, more expansive and various than may be construed as a uniquely Italian or Mediterranean inheritance. Indeed, in his core treatment of this issue, Les Véritables origines de la Renaissance (1888: 5-6), Courajod emphasizes the greater prominence of a Northern Renaissance, which he sees as substantially French. Further, he points to the significance of region and localities in transmitting new cultural forms; and pivotally, the enlarged role of medieval art practices as key thresholds of ‘modernity’ in the historiography of the Italian Renaissance, which Courajod contends: ‘was not a universal point of departure’ (‘n’était pas un point de départ universel’, 1888: 2). While the Burgundian kingdom of the North has an undisputed place in this vigorously expanding late Gothic sphere, its centre, for Courajod, is now Paris and the Ile de France as the hub as of a flourishing artistic culture. Not only is this a potent memory but a locus of continuing renewal, Courajod sees, ‘which has not ceased to replenish itself in our nation’ (‘qu’il n’a point cessé de remplir dans notre pays’, 1888: 5). It also has a form, a dominant cultural expression – realism, a more overtly Flemish, Netherlandish-Germanic not Mediterranean inheritance; but again, the skew is towards its French innovation.  In this re-centred world, with its complex borderlines of ‘court’, faith and putative ‘national’ cultures; of feudality-community-citizens, Fouquet is accorded a pre-eminent position as ‘a master portraitist’ (‘un maître portraitiste’, 1888: 6), the agent of a synthesis, a forceful realism which fuses elements of the Mediterranean Antique with the more vigorous artistic language of Northern naturalism. This is the Burgundian world of court, merchant and artisan absorbed, for Courajod, focalized through Fouquet’s art as a medium for its realism and power, transformed and re-owned as France.

[14] Courajod’s ‘Fouquet’ is the overlooked missing link between such artist-counter-cultural power plays for identities of nation-making following the trauma of the Franco-Prussian War, loss, annexation, and the enlargement of these tensions in the emotional pre-texts and contexts for the 1904 Louvre exhibition. In effect, Bouchot’s and Lafenestre’s Les Primitifs français with Fouquet’s Melun Diptych on display in the exhibition’s centrepiece ‘sanctuaire de la peinture’, is built around Courajod’s French origins narratives, attributions and actors. They follow, too, Courajod’s innovative, counter-cultural Gothic return as a ‘primitive’ Renaissance, marking a new threshold of modernity even if this treads an uneasy line between appealing to a patrimony of cosmopolitan diversity, a France before France, and its more explicit, and in key cases virulent nationalist constructions (Morowitz 2005: 227-28).[11] In a further bid to out-shine the Bruges 1902 Les Primitifs flamands, the first such showcase of Flemish so-called ‘primitives’ in scale and scope, as Bouchot and Lafenestre insist, theirs is not a borrowed Flemish or Italianate garb, rather, a full flourishing, englobing vision born of France as

[a] Renaissance more national, above all more spontaneous, and blossoming without effort, joyfully as a flower of the land, young and fresh, blooming in its right season from the hardy stem of secular traditions.

([une] Renaissance plus nationale, surtout plus spontanée, et s’épanouissant sans efforts, joyeusement comme une fleur du terroir, naïve et fraiche, sortie en sa juste saison, de tige robuste des traditions séculaires) (Bouchot and Lafenestre 1904: xxi)

[15] There is more than a nod to Courajod in the extended nature metaphors of bloom, fertility and vigour. But in presenting Fouquet as the spectacular keystone of an entire, integrated vision, a ‘France des primitifs’ as a ‘primitive’ Renaissance building on a Flemish patrimony, yet absorbing, even appropriating it (Hulin de Loo 1904: 11-12),[12] Bouchot and Lafenestre go further in their claims to showcase ‘a tradition to bring together anew, so many varying elements’ (‘une tradition […] pour grouper de nouveau tant d’éléments hétérogenes’: Bouchot and Lafenestre: xxii). Attention has focused on the claims, counter claims and controversies sparked by Bouchot’s and Lafenestre’s bold, if inaccurate bid to own ‘tout cet art franco-flamand’ (xxiii) in their rivalling of the 1902 Bruges Les Primitifs flamands’ spotlight on the Van Eycks, Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling, as the creation of a French – specifically Parisian Renaissance genesis (Haskell 1994; Thiébault, et al. 2004). Much less explored, however, are the emotive strategies by which this origins myth was displayed and staged, paradoxically to excite, – and prolong devotion. Indeed, Les Primitifs français is striking for its uses of amplified, almost overwhelming visual display for many ‘crushing’, its staging (the ‘Sanctuaire de la peinture’ alone featured 300 works), together with a compendious accompanying catalogue, scholarly literature, post-card and souvenir industry. In these ways, Fouquet’s art’s visibility, the biggest presence in the ‘Sanctuaire’, as the pivot of Les Primitifs français, builds a powerful emotional resonance for the part of the Fouquet story Courajod side-lines. That is, the complex, shifting borderlines in Fouquet’s work as a portraitist, court and a devotional artist – and indeed, in Pächt’s gloss, as an ‘international figure’.

[16] This ambiguity becomes manifest in the exhibition and catalogue treatment of the Melun Diptych, by far the longest entry (catalogue no. 40, Bouchot and Lafenestre 1904: 17-18), and the presentation of the two panels (from Berlin and Antwerp), first re-united since 1775.  So far from de-Christianizing it, its heightened liminal allure, doubtless stimulated by experiencing its reconstituted state, is developed in the focus on the intense interlinking between the devout Etienne Chevalier, and the suggestive power of the Virgin-Agnès Sorel as image and expression of a complexly spiritual and erotic beauty. Hinted at in the reference to past censure of its ‘impudeur’ (1904: 18) – its ‘indecency’, the significance of that ‘impudeur’ as a moment of awakening is tantalizingly evoked in what follows:

The Virgin dressed in the style of a fifteenth-century French woman, with the small bandeau on the forehead peculiar to the women of France, has a bare breast, and carries an infant Jesus on her knees. This panel of the diptych is extremely interesting to compare with the other. It remained Gothic, completely French, almost without foreign influence.

(La vierge costumé en Française du XV siècle, avec la petit bandeau de front particulier aux femmes de France, a le sein nu, et porte sur les genoux un enfant Jésus. Ce volet du dyptique est fort intéressante à comparer à l’autre. Il est resté gothique, tout français, a peu pres sans influence étrangère) (1904: 18)

Most striking here, is how each focus of interest – from the Virgin’s daintily tight-costumed figure, more fashionably French than Netherlandish, her prominent breast, the ambiguous iconography of erotic-spiritual maternity – intimate a deeper act of possession, of an object, lauded as wholly Gothic, ‘completely French’.  If the panel depicting Etienne Chevalier is all about the courtly and cosmopolitan – of Fouquet’s Renaissance ‘polyvalence’ spanning Northern Europe to Italy, the Virgin-Agnès Sorel radiates what is Gothic and belongs to France, from her forehead, to her bodice and breast, to the infant on her lap. For Bouchet and Lafenestre, the object of ‘impudeur’ has become one charged with the embodied and immediate as a patrimony of desire, past and present. Indeed, it would be tempting to see this deeper, if displaced devotional energy, rather than the organizers’ claims for secularism, as pivotal in fuelling Fouquet’s and the exhibition’s afterlife well beyond 1904. Post-cards of the Melun Diptych, in particular of the Virgin, were amongst the most widely circulated, best-selling objects of the copious souvenir industry generated by Les Primitifs français (Thiébault, et al. 2004: 22) in its production of a complex Madonna to project an image of a unified French patrimony, but soon a troubled one, even before 1914. Yet in 1904, via the exhibition and its extensive print media and photographic reproductions, Les Primitifs français was to bring the dazzle, artistry and invention of Fouquet’s distant, fluid, late Gothic age, close and emotionally familiar to early 1900s France as a connected, collective imaging and experience of desirous ‘belonging’.

3 Reanimation: Quarton’s ‘Primitive’ Renaissance and the liminal Republic

[17] This brings me to Enguerrand Quarton and my concluding part. Quarton, the so-called Master of Avignon’s, Coronation of the Virgin (1453-54: Fig. 5) and the great Pietà (c.1455) now attributed to him (Thiébault, et al. 2004: 114-5) was the other star so-called ‘primitif’ staged with Fouquet’s Diptych in the 1904 Louvre ‘Sanctuaire de la peinture’). On one level, Quarton’s and Fouquet’s works share a similar Gothic space of creation and devotion; visitors could hardly have failed to notice a teasing symmetry between the angelic messengers surrounding Fouquet’s Virgin and Quarton’s as she is crowned in the place of Judgement by the Holy Trinity, flanked by the Blessed. But there, the similarities become more contentious. Fouquet’s courtly and sophisticated Madonna accompanied by Chevalier, speaks to a worldly sensuality, of mobility, a spirit of novelty – of a forward-looking individualism. Quarton’s Coronation (for the Carthusian Charterhouse Chapel altarpiece at Villeneuve-lès-Avignon), is about endings, last things, the court of God: the Eschaton. Through the Virgin’s upward ascent to a post-Apocalyptic ‘sanctorale’ (the time of Saints), it depicts a time after earthly time; Saints can and do re-enter human time.  In this deeper sense, Quarton’s vision is arguably more entwined with a Gothic temporality less familiar, stranger than Fouquet’s – what is more, despite its Trinitarian programme (Plesch 2000: 192-94), most striking is the explicitly Marian focus. The Virgin’s intercession is both visual and bodily; the pivot between the court of Heaven, Christ’s Passion and earth, the canopied folds of her gown interconnects the Blessed and the Damned.      

Figure 5: Enguerrand Quarton, The Coronation of the Virgin, 1453-54. Tempera on panel. Villeneuve-lès-Avignon: Musée Pierre de Luxembourg. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, public domain. 

[18] Apart from Prosper Merimée’s brief commentary on the Altarpiece as Inspecteur Générale des monuments historiques, which he saw in-situ in 1834, describing it as ‘a very remarkable fifteenth-century work’ (‘[un] tableau très remarkable du XVe siècle’) (Merimée 1835: 163), Quarton’s obscurity on the nineteenth-century French map of collecting and Renaissance scholarship, is undeniable. This included his neglect in the later re-appraisals of Gothic and early-Renaissance ‘primitives’ illuminated in Bruges,[13] except for the Abbé Requin’s 1889 study, which doubtless gave Quarton a particularly fresh ‘primitive’ potency, when reanimated in the 1904 displays.  Scholars have placed much emphasis on his visibility as the undisputed Master of an obscured, yet ‘specifically Provençal’ ‘primitif’ pictorial tradition (Sterling 1983: 133; Laclotte 1985: 91-92).  Even so, arguably as important in 1904, is a charged context of reception for the Avignon Master from Laon. So far from perceiving Quarton’s work as a Gothic curiosity, intimated by Merimée’s evident distaste for the Virgin’s ‘heavy and square’ features (‘grosse et carrée’: Merimée 1835: 163), or as the leader of a lost Mediterranean ‘School’, this would have been responsive to an object, its iconography and memory site that resonated with a more entangled Catholic, and emotional patrimony.  This includes occulted practices and Marian cults, as in the ‘Vierges ouvrantes’, many of which came to attention in the late 1870s and 1880s (Didron 1869; Depoin 1882; Peyron 1895), suggestive of a larger force-field of counter-cultural tensions not scriptable as part of the Republic.

[19] These tensions amplify in competing perceptions of Quarton’s geographies of cultural belonging, which also entangle with his piety and memory-construction, being neither strictly a Northern, Southern or a Germanic figure, and sometimes all three. Quarton in 1904 was indeed hard to place – his Coronation especially so, and it differs in this key respect from the intense acts of identity that Schongauer’s Madonna of the Roses and Pietà evoked with Alsace, and Fouquet’s Melun Diptych with Paris-Ile de France as Flemish Burgundy. In the 1904 ‘Sanctuaire’ his Coronation of the Virgin (cat. 71: ‘Le triomphe de la Vierge Marie’) shared space along with Fouquet, with another Provençal, the Aixois, Nicolas Froment’s, Le Buisson ardent (1475-6: 1904: cat. 78). Yet there was everything inflammatory in Bouchot’s and Lafenestre’s attempts to annexe Quarton’s Coronation as Northern, and Franco-Flemish. This Franco-Flemish-ness as evinced by Quarton’s Coronation, is claimed to be equally widespread in the Midi, expressing that spirit of an awakened Gothic as the pivot of something bigger, of a properly French Renaissance, dismissing Froment’s Le Buisson ardent as simply ‘too well-known’ to merit longer treatment (Bouchot and Lafenestre 1904: 37). Oddly, the angels make the connection. In this extraordinary, yet unknown object, for Bouchot and Lafenestre what stands out beyond all else, for all the visionary Gothic revelation unfolding in its principal scene of the heavenly court, is the closeness to Fouquet’s art and his ‘Ecole’. Even Quarton’s ‘red angels,’ so redolent of the phalanxes of angels in Fouquet’s miniatures they could almost be his, for Quarton’s art is by origin not from Provence but Picardy (Bouchot and Lafenestre 1904: 33). Borrowed for Fouquet, the majesty and wonder of Quarton’s Coronation, the mystery-enfolded Virgin as intercessor, the complex spaces and liminalities of its patrimony and piety – between Northern France, the Midi, Rome and Jerusalem – its speaking sites, have been absorbed into Paris.  In 1904, Quarton’s Coronation had found its spotlight, but under fire in an emotional tug-of-war for ownership of memory. This is between a narrative of a Gothic as a Renaissance, as the beginnings of a French secular vision of nation (even if in Fouquet’s case, freighted with the devotional), and a liminal identity-construction, operating trans-temporally, and beyond boundaries of both ‘nation’ and Republic. In Quarton’s Coronation of the Virgin, ideas of ‘time’ and ‘progress’ have altogether different potency: only through the power of the intercessory object can the individual bridge what is present, and of the future.      

[20] Yet both Fouquet and Quarton, as with Schongauer, stand as counter-cultural forces. In Fouquet’s case, this was to become all-too apparent in a reactionary cultural backlash following the 1904 exhibition which saw Fouquet’s branding as a ‘cosmopolitan’, as tainted and un-French by his arch-detractor, the art-historian, Louis Dimier in his bid for a ‘purified’ French Renaissance projecting power. Modelled on the Northern image-makers of the court of Francois Ier, Clouet and Jan van Scorel (Mansfield 2017: 198), this was Dimier’s pitch for a very different narrative of ‘origins’ that would lead, as the leading cultural apologist for Charles Maurras’s Action française, to his un-Northern championing of Primaticcio as the new French Renaissance poster boy.[14] Indeed, such disputed ideas and origins myths of French génie, pitted against racialized cultural stereotypes, to which 1904 contributed in key ways, also appropriated Gothic art, exploiting that unstable boundary between Gothic-Renaissance, Flemish-Burgundian-German foreshadowed, albeit for different purposes, by Goutzwiller and Courajod, as Neil McWilliam has argued to fuel more virulent nationalisms (McWilliam 2005: 279-281). These would stoke anger to link ideas of ‘patrie’ and Catholic cults harnessed as atavistic emblems of an exclusionary and purified French identity-construction, epitomized by Armand Fourreau’s 1910, Le Génie gothique.

[21] The play to a particular power politics of the Gothic past invoked for a visceral cultural ‘reawakening’ are forces which undeniably gain traction in Maurrasian extreme right-wing Catholic nationalisms of the early 1900s to 1910s. Such antagonisms become sharply focused in the contrasting claims, orchestrated from 1904 to the immediate aftermath of the First World War, by Louis Gillet and Emile Mâle for Gothic art and architecture as the rightful ‘ownership’ and patrimony of France. Whereas Gillet’s ‘national’ case for his ‘Primitifs français’ is built around an internationalist vision of a shared ‘Gothic-Renaissance’ inheritance across boundaries of political and geo-cultural identities, North and South, France and Belgium (Gillet 1936: 100, 107); for Emile Mâle, the increasingly noisy uses of Gothic to promote ‘culture wars’ is demonstrably evident in his ferocious claims against German medieval art (denounced as ‘le vandalisme’, 1917: 218-19) for the superiority of French as the ‘true’ Gothic.  While the context was the bombardment of Rheims (1914) and Soissons Cathedrals by German artillery, distilled in Mâle’s emotive image of their ‘martyred’ ruins, the seeds of this racialized, nationalist antagonism, as is all too clear in Dimier’s campaign, pre-date Rheims.

[22] Indeed in his heightening of the stakes for the Republic’s ‘Renaissances’, Dimier’s 1910 demolition of Les Primitifs français as a vision present or future, and what he sees as its beating heart, ‘the Northern, Flemish revival in the [French] Renaissance’ (‘le renouveau Flamande dans la Renaissance’), epitomized by Fouquet’s Melun Dipytch, was hardly a neutral or objective judgement of art history (Dimier 1910: 87-88).  Rather, Dimier’s is a relentless, baleful offensive against ‘impure’ artist imports (Rogier van der Weyden, the Van Eycks, Fouquet and their ‘gaucheries’: Dimier: 68), and too their objects, denounced by Dimier in Fouquet’s case as ‘without honour’ (‘sans honneur’: Dimier: 87) as no longer belonging to France.[15] Against these he pits the ‘ateliers of Avignon’ (ergo Froment’s and Quarton’s) vision of a more awakened, muscular, Mediterranean, Renaissance. Here, Goutzwiller’s shadowy, Lafenestre’s expansive ‘North’ (the Burgundian Netherlands, the Ile de France, Brittany, Alsace, the Lyonnais, Germany) as the locus of a connected territory of art, cosmopolitan, even hidden ‘patrie’ extending to ‘les ateliers d’Avignon’ (Lafenestre 1904: 44), has all but disappeared.


[23] If 1904 was a provocation with ugly undercurrents, as this article has shown, it is also a watershed, a moment of conflicted vision, and possibility. Fouquet’s and Quarton’s co-options as alternative images of French nation and Republic, as in the case of Goutzwiller’s Schongauer, occupy neither a polarity of history/present, memory/modernity, of nation/other, ‘Northern’ nor ‘French’. Rather, their afterlives open multiple thresholds on entangled pasts and their objects that do not go away.  They lay bare the pivotal workings of history, in particular, the active intervention of a Northern Renaissance memory and its competing cultural visions, in a battleground for French Third Republican memory and identity-construction. Even more than this, they expose the hidden forces, progressive and dangerous, passionate and obsessive, animating the central ambitions of its art, modernity and sites of power, real and projected.



[1] In claiming that, ‘the Republic will be Florentine’ (‘la République sera Florentine’: Blanc, Mantz, et al. 1876: 1).

[2] In key dictionaries and artist repertories, Goutzwiller has received scant reference (Bénézit 2006, 6: 511-12 which omits mention of his 1875 Schongauer study; in Thieme-Becker 1921, 14: 450, this is included but only Goutzwiller’s earlier study (1867); in Grove 1999, Goutzwiller is omitted entirely). Saur’s longer treatment (2008, 59: 394) redresses these absences in a more detailed entry on Goutzwiller’s activities as an artist, conservator and art historian, including his pivotal contributions to the Colmar Société Schongauer during the 1870s. Yet detailed consideration of Goutzwiller’s art, his writings and art-historical importance, institutionally, and for his contemporaries, remains to be explored.

[3] Demonstrated notably by Emile Galichon on Schongauer (1859); and Dürer (1860); also, by restoration and opening of the Musée Unterlinden (1853) and the first published catalogue of its collections (Hugot 1866), including descriptions of its key works by Schongauer, Hans Holbein, Lucas Cranach, and Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1512-16).    

[4] Bearing a clear, if not exact resemblance to the possible portrait of Martin Schongauer, or a copy of an earlier such portrait, attributed to Hans Burgkmair the Elder, c.1453, 1483 or c. 1513 (oil on spruce wood), Munich: Alte Pinakothek. 

[5] Although arguably the centrepiece of the Unterlinden collection, not the main focus of Goutzwiller’s attention in 1875, yet his study was undoubtedly significant for the substantial interest developed in Grünewald’s work (Verhaeren 1886; Huysmans 1905), and in the Isenheim Altarpiece as a pivotal emotional focus for navigating alterities of artistic memory, identity, pre- and post-1918. (Simpson 2023).

[6] Especially by their ‘radiant’ colour, that for Goutzwiller, has the intensity of a living touch ‘still warm from the brush’s caress’ (‘ce coloris encore tout chaud des caresses du pinceau’: 1875: 7).

[7] Goutzwiller’s list of authors is a roll-call of the dominant Second-Empire Germanists, Galichon and those exiled in Strasbourg – in that respect, also instructive, including studies by Passavant, Quandt and Forester, and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts-Strasbourg circles, notably Galichon and Eugène Muntz.

[8] In the context of his exploration of what he sees as the ‘experimental testing of the term’ in French art and literary writings that preceded Michelet’s studies (Bann, 2019: 31).

[9] Redressing what is perceived to be an overly Italianate emphasis in Fouquet’s treatment as a ‘Northern ‘Renaissance’ artist (Avril 2003; Blondeau-Morizot and Bruyns 2014).

[10] Courajod receives a mention in the Louvre 2004 Centenary exhibition (Thiébault, Lorentz, Martin 2004: 60), but there is no in-depth treatment of his work’s importance for Bouchot and Lafenestre.

[11] As propounded by the reactionary Catholic novelist Léon Bloy (see Morowitz: 227), also by Dimier (1910: 87-88).

[12] The concerns are clear in Hulin de Loo’s opening remarks on the 1904 Les Primitifs français: ‘I find more serious and dangerous, the tendency to naturalize as French certain artists from the Low Countries by the route of geographical annexation, in simply shifting the borders’ (‘Je trouve plus grave et plus dangereuse, la tendance à naturaliser français certains peintres des Pays-Bas, par la voie de l’annexation géographique, en deplaçant simplement la frontière’ (Hulin de Loo 1904: 11).

[13] Notably in the case of the Mérode Altarpiece and the Deposition finally attributed to Petrus Christus (see Bruges 1902; Hayum 2014: 5, 9).

[14] Building on his 1900 thesis, Le Primatice, peintre, sculpteur et architecte des rois de France: Essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de cet artiste, suivi d’un catalogue raisonné de ses dessins et de ses compositions gravées.

[15] Again, the Melun Diptych is the main target of Dimier’s opprobrium, following his attack on what he sees as the ‘crudity’ of its Flemish style (‘nothing is so rigid, flat, so lifeless as the execution of the Antwerp Virgin’, ‘Rien n’est si dur, si plat, si froid que l’exécution de la Vierge d’Anvers’), he links this again to his othering of contemporary claims for Fouquet’s art as the jewel of the French Renaissance insisting, ‘he [Fouquet] displays all the banalities, all the motley of a Byzantine’ (‘il a toute la platitude, tout le bariolage d’un Byzantin’: Dimier: 87, 88).


Avril, François, Gousset, Marie-Thérèse, Guenée, Bernard (eds.), 1987. Die Bilder der Grandes Chroniques de France (Graz: Akademische Druck – u. Verlagsanstalt).

Avril, François (ed.), 2003. Jean Fouquet – peintre et enlumineur du XVe siècle (Paris:  Bibliothèque Nationale de France-Hazan).

Bann, Stephen, 2019. ‘Inventing the Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century France’, in The Italian Renaissance in the 19th Century: Revision, Revival, and Return, L. Bolzoni and A. Payne (eds.) (Villa I Tatti-Harvard University Press: Milan), pp. 30-48.

Bénézit, Emmanuel, 2006.  Dictionary of Artists. 14 vols. (Paris: Editions Grund).

Blanc, Charles, Mantz, Paul, et al. 1869-1876. Histoire des peintres des toutes les écoles. 14 vols. (Paris: Librairie Renouard).

—, 1876. L’Ecole Florentine (Paris: Librairie Renouard).

Bouchot, Henri and Lafenestre, Georges, 1904.  Exposition des Primitifs Français au Palais du Louvre et à la Bibliotheque nationale (Paris: Gazette des Beaux-Arts).

Blondeau-Morizot, Caroline and Bruyns, Elizabeth, 2014. Jean Fouquet, un artist polyvalent: entre arts nova et Renaissance Italienne (ProQuest E-Book).

Bruges, 1902. Exposition des Primitifs flamands et d’art ancient – Bruges – première section: tableaux – catalogue (Bruges: Desclée de Brouwer et Cie). 

Chastel, André, 1981. ‘French Renaissance Art in a European Context’, Sixteenth-Century Studies, 7/4: 77-103.

Chesneau, Ernest, 1868. Les Nations rivales dans l’art (Paris: Didier et Cie).

Courajod, Louis. 1878. Etudes sur les collections de Moyen Age, de la Renaissance et des temps modernes au Musée du Louvre (Paris: H. Champion Librairie).

—, 1888.  Les Véritables origines de la Renaissance (Paris: Sceaux).

Depoin, Louis Joseph. 1882.  Notice historique sur la Vierge Ouvrante de Maubuisson (Pontoise: Amadée Paris).

Didi-Huberman, Georges, 2002. ‘The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology’, Oxford Art Journal, 25: 61-69.

Didron Edouard-Aimé, 1869. ‘Les images ouvrantes’, Annales archéologiques, 26/2, 1: 415-18.

Dimier, Louis, 1900. Le Primatice, peintre, sculpteur et architecte des rois de France: Essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de cet artiste, suivi d’un catalogue raisonné de ses dessins et de ses compositions gravées (Paris: Leroux).

—, 1904. Le Portrait du XVIe siècle aux Primitifs français avec les difficultés d’un anonyme au suject de cette exposition (Paris: Schmitt).

—, 1910. Les Primitifs français (Paris: Henri Laurens Editeur).

Durrieu, Paul (le Comte), 1904. La Peinture à l’exposition des Primitifs français (Paris: Librairie de l’art ancient et moderne).

Fagnart, Laure and Lecoq, Isabelle, 2017. Arts et Artistes du Nord et à la cour de Francois Ier. (Paris: Editions A. et J. Picard).

Forester, M., 1853. Das Deutsche Volk, Geschichte der deutschen kunst, 2 vols. (Leipzig: T.O. Weigel).

Fouquet, Jean, 2003. Les Heures d’Etienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet: les quarante enluminures du Musée Condé. Patricia Stirneman (ed.) (Paris: Somogy).

Fourreau, Armand, 1910. Le Génie gothique (Paris: E. Sansot).

Galichon, Emile, 1859. Ecole Allemande Martin Schongauer Peintre et Graveur du XVe Siècle (Paris: Imprimerie de J. Claye).

—, 1860.  Albert Dürer [sic]: sa vie et son oeuvre (Paris: Aubry).

Gillet, Louis, Tharaud, Jérome, 1904. Les Primitifs français: Contes de la Vierge (Paris: Cahiers de la Quinzaine).

—, 1918. L’Art flamande et la France (Paris: G. Van Oest et Cie).

—, 1936. Les Tapis enchantés (Paris: Galllimard).

Goutzwiller, Charles, 1867. Le Musée de Colmar: Notice sur les peintures de Martin Schongauer et de divers artistes des anciennes écoles allemandes (Colmar: Eugène Barth).   

, 1875. Martin Schongauer et son école – Notes sur l’art ancien en Alsace et sur les oeuvres d’artistes Alsaciens modernes, ornée de 26 gravures (Colmar: Eugène Barth; Paris: Sandoz et Fischbacher).  

 Hartnell, Jack, 2019. ‘The Body Inside-Out: Anatomical Memory at Maubuisson Abbey’, Art History, 42/2: 242-73.

Hartog, François, 2015. ‘Memory, History and the Present’, Régimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time, transl. Saskia Brown (New York: Columbia University Press).

Haskell, Francis, 1994. ‘Old Master Exhibitions and the second “Rediscovery of the Primitives”’, in Hommage à Michel Laclotte. P. Rosenberg, C. Scalliérez and D. Thiébault (eds.) (Milan: Electa; Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux), pp. 552-564. 

Hayum, Andrée, 2014. ‘The 1902 exhibition, Les Primitifs flamands: Scholarly Fallout and Art Historical Reflections.’ Journal of Art Historiography, 11: 1-20.

Hulin de Loo, Georges, 1904. L’Exposition des Primitifs français au point de vue de l’influence des frères Van Eyck (Brussels: G. van Oest et Cie and Paris: Libraire H. Floury).

Hugot, Louis-Philippe, 1866. Catalogue du musée de Colmar, préfacé par Ch. Goutzwiller (Colmar: Camille Decker).

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 1905. ‘Les Grünewald du Musée de Colmar’, Trois primitifs (Paris: Messein). 

Inglis, Erik, 2011. Jean Fouquet and the Invention of France (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).

Kempderdick, Stephan, 2018. Jean Fouquet – the Melun Diptych. Berlin: Staaliche Museen

Labarte, Jules, 1879. Inventaire du mobilier de Charles V, roi de France (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale)

Laclotte, Michel, Thiébault, Dominique, 1985. L’Ecole d’Avignon (Paris: Flammarion).

Lafenestre, Georges, 1904. L’Exposition des Primitifs français (Paris: Gazette des Beaux-Arts).

Le Goff, Jacques, 2005. The Birth of Europe. Translated by Janet Lloyd. The Making of Europe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).

Lethbridge, Robert, 2020. ‘‘Painting out’ (and ‘reading in’) the Franco-Prussian War: Politics and Art Criticism in the 1870s’, Journal of European Studies, 50/1: 52-59.

Lynch, Andrew, Broomhall, Susan, 2021. A Cultural History of the Emotions in the Late Medieval, Reformation and Renaissance Age (London: Bloomsbury).

Maddern, Philippa, McEwan, Joanne, Scott, Anne, M. 2018. Performing Emotions in Early-Modern Europe (Turnhout: Brepols).

Mâle, Emile, 1917. L’Art allemande et l’art français du moyen âge (Paris: Librairie Armand Colin).

Martens, Maximiliaan (ed.), et al. 1998. Bruges et la Renaissance. De Memling à Pourbus (Bruges: Stichting Kunstboek/Ludion).

 McWilliam, Neil, 2005. ‘Action française, Classicism and the Dilemmas of Traditionalism in France, 1900-1914’, in Studies in History of Art, 68. Symposium papers, LXV, Nationalism and French Visual Culture (Washington: National Gallery of Art), pp. 268-291.

Meek, Richard and Sullivan, Erin (eds.), 2015. The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (Manchester: Manchester University Press).

 Merimée, Prosper, 1835. Notes d’un voyage dans le Midi de la France (Paris: Librairie de Fournier).

 Michelet, Jules, 1855. Renaissance (Paris: Chamerot, Libraire-Editeur).

—, 2014. Histoire de France. Viallaneix, P. Petitier, P. (eds.), 7 (Paris: Éditions des Équateurs).

Morowitz, Laura, 2005. ‘Medievalism, Classicism, and Nationalism: The Appropriation of the French Primitifs in Turn-of-the-Century France’, in Studies in History of Art, 68. Symposium papers, LXV, Nationalism and French Visual Culture (Washington: National Gallery of Art), pp. 224-241.

Nora, Pierre, 1989. ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire’, Representations, 26 (Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory): 7-24.

Pächt, Otto, 1940. ‘Jean Fouquet: a Study of his Style’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 4, 1/2 (Oct.1940-Jan.1941): 85-102. 

Peyron, Malo, 1895. ‘Notre-Dame-du-Mur et la Confrérie de la Trinité’, Bulletin de la Société Archéologique du Finistère, 2 (Quimper): 239-66. 

Plesch, Véronique, 2000. ‘Enguerrand Quarton’s Coronation of the Virgin: This World and the Next, the Dogma and the Devotion, the Individual and the Community’, Historical Reflections, 26/2: 189-221.

Requin, Abbé H. 1889. ‘Documents inédits sur les peintres, peintres-verriers et enlumineurs d’Avignon au XVe siècle’. Réunion des Sociétés des Beaux-Arts des départements (Avignon), pp. 118-217.  

Saur, K. G., 2008. Allgemeines Kunstler-Lexicon, 59 (Munich and Leipzig: K.G. Saur).

Simpson, Juliet, 2011. ‘Whose History? Art History and the Nation State in Early Third Republic France’, in Institutions and Power in Nineteenth-century French Literature and Culture. D. Evans and K. Griffiths (eds.) (Amsterdam-Atlanta: Faux Titre Brill-Rodopi), pp. 237-48.

—, 2022. ‘Mobile Shrine and Magical Bodies: Modern Afterlives of Medieval Shrine Madonnas’, in Znorovszky, Andrea-Bianka and Jaritz, Gerhard (eds.), Marian Devotion in the Late Middle Age – Image and Devotion (New York: Routledge), pp. 182-199. 

—, 2023. ‘Imagining the Uncanny Memory – War and the Isenheim Altarpiece, 1917-19’, in W.G. Sebald’s Artistic Legacies: Memory, Word and Image, Kovač, L., Lerm-Hayes, C.M., Van Rijn, I., Saloul, I. (eds.) (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press), pp. 48-65.

Sterling, Charles, 1983. Enguerrand Quarton. Le Peintre de la Pietà d’Avignon (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux).

Thiébault, Dominique, Lorentz, Philippe, Martin, François-René, 2004. Primitifs français. Découvertes et redécouvertes (Paris: Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux).

Thieme, Ulrich and Becker, Felix (eds.), 1921. Allgemeines Lexicon der Bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 14 (Leipzig: E.A. Seemann).

Verhaeren, Emile, 1886. ‘En voyage: Les Gothiques allemandes,’ L’Art moderne (August 15, 1886), republ. La Vogue, 2 (September 27-October 4, 1886).

Werner, Michael and Zimmermann, Bénédicte, 2006. ‘Beyond Comparison: Histoire croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity’, History and Theory, 45: 30-50.


Juliet Simpson, Coventry University

Juliet Simpson is Full Professor of Art History, Chair of Cultural Memory and Research Director in the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, Coventry University. She is an internationally-recognized expert in long nineteenth-and early twentieth-century art and visual culture, French fin-de-siècle art and cultural memory, word, image and the emotions, and afterlives of Gothic and Northern Renaissance visual cultures. Publications include: Critical Exchange: Art Criticism in Russia and Western Europe (Peter Lang: 2009, co-edited with Carol Adlam), Gothic Modernisms–Enchanted Spaces of Art and Modernity, 1880-1930s (forthcoming, Peter Lang: 2024, co-edited), and numerous articles, most recently, ‘Lucas Cranach’s Legacies’ (2020), ‘Baudelaire’s Uncanny Urban “Spirituel”’ (2022), and ‘The Isenheim Altarpiece and War’ (2023). Juliet Simpson has held Visiting Fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, and the Warburg Institute, London, Visiting Professor, University of Amsterdam, and is currently Visiting International Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre, University of Heidelberg. She is Guest Curator for the international scholarly exhibition, Gothic Modern, 1875-1925: Munch to Kollwitz (Helsinki-Oslo-Berlin, 2024-25), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Royal Historical Society, UK, and sits on the international Advisory Board of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2023 Journal of the Northern Renaissance

Theme by Anders Norén