The Apostle Matthew and the Prophet Micah
The Apostle Jude and the Prophet Daniel
Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
Illuminated by Jean Poyer
The Pierpont Morgan Library, Purchased in 1905
MS M.50 (fol. 6v–7r)
This prayer book was commissioned by Anne de Bretagne, wife of two successive kings of France, Charles VIII and Louis XII, to teach her son, the dauphin Charles-Orland (1492–1495), his catechism. It was painted in Tours by Jean Poyer, an artist documented as working for the queen. The book is richly illustrated, and its thirty-four airy, light-flooded miniatures are among the most delicate examples of late-fifteenth-century art.
The Apostle Matthew and the Prophet Micah (fol. 6v, left)
Poyer was a master of perspective, a talent praised even in his own time. The receding floor tiles, as well as the shadows cast by Matthew and Micah, simply but convincingly describe the depth of the room.
Before being called by Christ, Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans (an occupation particularly despised by his fellow Jews). His attribute is a bag of money.
The Apostle Jude and the Prophet Daniel (fol. 7, right)
Jude and Daniel stand in a beautiful landscape, rendered convincingly vast through Poyer's use of aerial or atmospheric perspective, in which the features become blurred and the colors cooler as the landscape recedes.
Jude holds the long saw by which he was purportedly cut in two.