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Le Noir, Jean

The Oxford Companion to Western Art

Thomas Tolley

Le Noir, Jean 

(active 1331–75).

French illuminator. In 1331 he was in service to Yolande of Flanders, Duchess of Bar, and later to the King. As reward for their services, Jean and his daughter Bourgot, also an illuminator, were given a house in Paris in 1358 by the King's son, the future Charles V, for whom they also worked after he ascended the throne in 1364. During the early 1370s Jean and Bourgot worked at Bourges for the Duke of Berry, who also held them in high esteem. The survival of three books made for the same sequence of patrons for whom Jean worked, featuring illumination evidently all by the same artist, has made it possible tentatively to reconstruct his œuvre. Assuming this identification is correct, Jean was the leading illuminator (see illuminated manuscripts) working in Paris following Pucelle, whose style and compositions he clearly emulated. Indeed his strength lies not in innovation, but in his refinement and extention of earlier decorative formulas, at their most eye-catching in the Passion cycle from the Petites Heures (c.1375; Paris, Bib. Nat., MS lat. 18014).

Thomas Tolley


Avril, F., Manuscript Painting at the Court of France (1978).Find this resource:

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