Great illumination of medieval style, on vellum.
Scene of the medieval court representing Charles VII (1403-1461) and Marie d’Anjou (1404-1468) painted on a 16th century Antiphonary leaf of vellum.
Illumination painted in gouache and gilt by the “Spanish Forger”.
395 x 225 mm.
Paris, end of the 19th century.
The scene in oblong format (395 x 225 mm) illustrates King Charles VII (1403-1461), his scepter in his hand, and Queen Marie of Anjou (1404-1463) crowned holding her white dog on her knees, surrounded by ten musicians, readers, friends and councilors. They stand on a green grass background, in front of a royal castle decorated with trees and a ruin standing out on the gilt background.
This superb illumination on vellum with a medieval theme counts among the most interesting productions of the “Spanish Forger”, a miniaturist active in Paris at the end of the 19th century and recognized today as a fully-fledged artist.
Not identified yet he is still known under the name of “The Spanish Forger” for his miniatures analyzed at the beginning as pseudo Spanish. Actually he gets his inspiration from the French art of the Middle Ages. He was active in France at the end of the 19th century and this point was established by studying the pigments and his sources of inspiration. Art historians discovered that this artist trained himself through the study of books of medieval art published especially in Paris by Paul Lacroix. His style is identifiable.
Even though still unidentified today, he is though better known thanks to an exhibition that was dedicated to him at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York in 1978.
The Spanish miniaturist became a fully-fledged artist and his works are sold in galleries. He is today highly sought-after by illuminations amateurs.
The name of the Belgium painter Ferdinand Charles François de Pape (1810-1885) has been mentioned as a possible identification of the Spanish artist.
The Spanish Forger. Voelke, William and Roger S. Wieck. New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1978.