About This Artwork

Jean Hey, known as The Master of Moulins, active c. 1480-c. 1505

The Annunciation, 1490/95

Oil on panel
28 1/2 x 19 11/16 in. ( 72.5 x 50.1 cm); painted surface: 28 1/4 x 19 3/8 in. (71.7 x 49.2 cm)

The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1062

The archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she will give birth to a son, and her immediate acceptance of this news, represent the moment of Christ’s Incarnation. Though The Annunciation appears to be an independent painting, it is actually a fragment that once formed the right side of an altarpiece; the left side, now in the National Gallery, London, depicts the moment of Mary’s own Immaculate Conception, believed to have occurred when her parents, Joachim and Anne, greeted each other at the Golden Gate. A central section, now lost, probably featured the enthroned Virgin and Child, perhaps with Saint Anne. Jean Hey worked in Moulins for Duke Pierre II of Bourbon and his wife, Anne of France, who played a large role in the government of France during the minority of Anne’s brother Charles VIII. As their court painter, Jean Hey, who was probably of Netherlandish origin, fused the intense naturalism and preciousness of Flemish and French painting and manuscript illumination with the emerging Renaissance interest in antiquity, as is evident in this painting’s Italianate architecture. The altarpiece must have had strong royal associations in keeping with this patronage—Charlemagne, considered a patron saint of the French royal family, is included in the London panel, and a figure of Saint Louis probably once graced the right side of the altarpiece.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2009, p. 186.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

London, Grafton Galleries, National Loan Exhibition, 1909–10, no. 76.

New York, Kleinberger, Loan Exhibition of French Primitives and Objects of Art, 1927, no. 35.

Detroit Institute of Arts, Seventh Loan Exhibition: French Gothic Art of the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Century, 1928, no. 9.

London, Royal Academy of Arts, French Art, 1200–1900, 1932, no. 28.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1933, no. 28.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1934, no. 17.

Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpieces of Religious Art, 1954, pp. 14–15.

Art Institute of Chicago, Glad Tidings of Great Joy, 1993–94 (no cat.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, New Light on Old Masters: Research on Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute, 26 June—14 September 2008, no cat.

Paris, Galeries nationales, Grand Palais, France 1500: entre Moyen Age et Renaissance, 2010–11, no. 67.

Art Institute of Chicago, Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France, 2011, no. 60.

Publication History

Roger E. Fry, “The Maître de Moulins,” Burlington Magazine 9 (1906), pp. 330–31 (ill.).

François Monod, “L’Exposition nationale de maîtres
anciens à Londres,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 4th ser., 3 (1910), pp. 243–45 (ill.).

Marcel Nicolle, “Exposition nationale de maîtres anciens à Londres,”
La Revue de l’art ancien et moderne 27 (1910), p. 54 (ill.).

JeanGuiffrey and Pierre Marcel, La Peinture française: Les Primitifs,
vol. 1, Paris, 1913, pp. 18–19, pls. 53–54.

Salomon Reinach, Répertoire de peintures du moyen âge et de la renaissance (1280–1580),vol. 4, Paris, 1918, p. 54 (ill.)

The Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings, and Drawings, vol. 2, August 1920, p. 62.

Martin Conway, The Van Eycks and Their Followers, London, 1921, p. 187.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings, May 1922, p. 72.

Maurice W. Brockwell, review of Conway 1921, in Connoisseur 62 (1922), p. 206.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, 1925, p. 160, no. 2054.

Max J. Friedländer, “A Painting by the Maître de Moulins in the National
Gallery,” Burlington Magazine 47 (1925), pp. 187–88, pl. B.

Rose Mary Fischkin, “Martin A. Ryerson Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, XIII to XVII Century, Loaned to The Art Institute of Chicago,” unpub. MS, 1926, Ryerson Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 134–35.

Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., “An Exhibition of French Primitives,” Arts 12 (1927), p. 248 (ill. opp. p. 241).

Walter Heil, “Kunstwerke der französischen Gotik: Leiausstellung
im Museum zu Detroit,” Pantheon 3 (1929), p. 76.

Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia, The French Primitives and Their
Forms, Merion, Pa., 1931, pp. 431–32, 437 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, 1932, p. 181, no. 670.14.

F[riedrich] Winkler, “Der Meister von Moulins und Hugo van der Goes,” Pantheon 10 (1932), p. 241.

“The Century of Progress Exhibition of the Fine Arts,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 27 (1933), p. 62 (ill.).

Daniel Catton Rich, “The Paintings of Martin A. Ryerson,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 27 (1933), pp. 8 (ill.), 12.

F[riedrich] Winkler, “Perréal,Jean,” in Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart,, vol. 26, 1933, p. 434.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections, 1935, pp. 22–23 (ill.).

Charles Sterling, La Peinture française: Les Primitifs, Paris, 1938, fig. 159.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections, 1941, pp. 28–29 (ill.).

Charles Sterling [Charles Jacques, pseud.], La Peinture française: Les Peintres du
moyen âge, Paris, 1941, pp. 22–23, no. 30, pl. 72.

Lucien Rudrauf,L’Annonciation: Étude d’un thème plastique et de ses variations
en peinture et en sculpture, Paris, 1943, p. 39 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, 1945, pp. 30–31 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Picture Book: Masterpieces of Painting, XV and XVI Centuries in the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, 1946, pp. 14–16 (ill.).

Martin Davies, French School, National Gallery Catalogues, London, 1946, pp. 67–68; 2nd ed., 1957, pp. 153–54.

Jacques Dupont, in “Séance du 19 Mars,”Bulletin de la Société nationale des antiquaires de France (1945–47), p. 226.

The Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, 1948, pp. 27–28 (ill.).

Maurice H. Goldblatt, “The ‘Master of Moulins’ Identified—Part II,” Connoisseur 122 (1948), pp. 4–5, no. 15 (ill.).

Grete Ring, A Century of French Painting, 1400–1500, London, 1949, p. 238, no. 297, pl. 165.

L[ouis] Réau, “Les Énigmes du Maître de Moulins,” in “Séance du 11 Juin 1949,”
Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de l’art français (1949 [1950]),
p. 59.

“Meister von Moulins,” in Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Leipzig, vol. 37, 1950, p. 236.

Jacques Dupont, “L’Énigme des primitifs, le Maître de Moulins,” Bulletin de la Société des amis du Musée de Dijon (1949–51), p. 22.

Jean-Paul Rey-Coquais, S.J., Le Maître de Moulins, Lyon, 1951, pp. 4 (ill.), 5, 14.

The Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, 1956, pp. 27–28 (ill.).

Jacques Feydy,“Le Portrait du Cardinal de Bourbon et le problème du ‘Maître de
Moulins,’” L’Information d’histoire de l’art 2 (1957), p. 168.

Nicole Reynaud, “Le Problème du Maître de Moulins: État de la question,”
L’Information d’histoire de l’art 2 (1957), p. 176.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection, 1961, pp. 140 (ill.), 301–02.

Madeleine Huillet d’Istria, Le Maître de Moulins, Paris, 1961, pp. 16–18, 31–35, 89, 100, 107, figs. 39, 41, pl. 4.

Jacqueline Marette, La Connaissance des primitives par l’étude du bois, du XIIe au XVIe siècle, Paris, 1961, p. 184, no. 165.

Albert Châtelet, “A Plea for the Master of Moulins,” Burlington Magazine 104 (1962), pp. 517–21, fig. 5.

Albert Châtelet and Jacques 9uillier, French Painting, from Fouquet to Poussin, trans. Stuart Gilbert, Geneva, 1963, p. 85.

Jacques Dupont, “Jean Prévost, peintre de la cour de Moulins,” L’Art de France 3 (1963), pp. 78–81, 86, fig. 9.

Nicole Reynaud, “Les Portraits des Bourbons au Louvre: Reconstitution d’un panneau du Maître de Moulins,” Revue du Louvre 13 (1963), p. 166.

Charles Sterling, “Du nouveau sur le Maître de Moulins,” L’Oeil, no. 107 (1963), pp. 2, 5, 7, 11, 13–15, 66–67, fig. 17.

Madeleine Huillet d’Istria, “The Problem of the Master of Moulins,” Burlington Magazine 106 (1964), pp. 43–44.

Charles Sterling, “À propos du ‘Maître de Moulins,’” L’Oeil, no. 109 (1964), p. xxiii.

Sixten Ringbom, Icon to Narrative: The Rise of the Dramatic Close-up in Fifteenth-Century Devotional Painting, Åbo, 1965 (repr., Doornspijk, 1984), p. 38, fig. 6 (detail).

Michel Laclotte, Primitifs français, Paris, 1966, p. 36 (ill.).

Henri Zerner and Sharon Katic, Il Maestro di Moulins,Maestri del colore 213, Milan, 1966, n.pag., pl. 8.

Charles D. Cuttler, Northern Painting from Pucelle to Bruegel, New York, 1968,
p. 227, fig. 284.

A[lain] Erlande-Brandenburg, review of Zerner and Katic 1961, in Bulletin monumental 126 (1968), p. 223.

Charles Sterling, “Jean Hey le Maître de Moulins,” Revue de l’art, no. 1–2
(1968), pp. 30–31.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago, London, 1970, pp. 34–35 (ill.).

National Gallery, Illustrated General Catalogue, ed. Cecil Gould, London, 1973, p. 440. AIC 1978, pp. 46–47 (ill.).

Albert Châtelet, Les Primitifs septentrionaux: La Peinture dans l’Europe septentrionale et la péninsule Ibérique au XVe siècle, Geneva, 1979, p. 223, fig. 34.

Paul Dupieux, Peuples et princes en Bourbonnais, Moulins, 1980, pp. 287, 289, 291 (ill.).

William Wells, “Abbot Nicaise Delorme and Jean Perréal: Glasgow’s Master of Moulins Reconsidered,” Apollo 114 (1981), p. 154, fig. 15.

Albert Châtelet, “Au temps des Jean: L’Énigme du maître de Moulins,” in Académie de Villefranche-en-Beaujolais, Anne de Beaujeu et ses énigmes (Actes du colloque national, 28 May 1983), Villefranche-sur-Saône, 1984, pp. 115 (ill.), 116, 118, 123.

Nicole Reynaud, “Un Retable perdu du Maître de Moulins?” “Il se rendit en Italie”: Études offertes à André Chastel, Rome and Paris, 1987, p. 123.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Master Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago, 1988, p. 19 (ill.).

Albert Châtelet and Roland Recht, Automne et renouveau, 1380–1500, Le
Monde gothique 35, Paris, 1988, fig. 320.

Angelica Dülberg, Privatporträts: Geschichte und Ikonologie einer Gattung im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1990, p. 62, fig. 716.

Philippe Lorentz and Annie Regond, Jean Hey: Le Maître de Moulins, exposition documentaire, Moulins, 1990, pp. 39–40, 49 (ill.), no. 6.

Jill Dunkerton et al., Giotto to Du_rer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery, New Haven and London, 1991, pp. 105, 358, fig. 139.

Art Institute of Chicago, Glad Tidings of Great Joy, Chicago, 1993, pp. 9 (ill.), 39.

Dominique Thiébaut, Le Christ à la colonned’Antonello de Messine, exh. cat. Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1993, p.64, fig. 44 (detail).

Charles McCorquodale, The Renaissance: European Painting, 1400–1600, London, 1994, p. 159, fig. 157.

André Chastel, French Art: The Renaissance, 1430–1620, Paris and New
York, 1995, p. 101.

National Gallery, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, compiled by Christopher Baker and Tom Henry, London, 1995, p. 434.

Catherine Reynolds, “Master of Moulins,” in Dictionary of Art, vol. 20, 1996, p. 733.

Albert Châtelet, “Les Bourbons et les peintres,” in Le Duché de Bourbon: Des origines au connetable;Actes du colloque des 5 et 6 octobre 2000, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, 2001, p. 147.

Albert Châtelet, Jean Prévost, le Maître de Moulins, Paris, 2001, pp. 72–77, 173–75, figs. 39, 105.

Lorne Campbell, review of Châtelet 2001, in Burlington Magazine 144 (2002), p. 357.

Frédéric Elsig, Le Peinture en France au XVe siècle, Milan, 2004, p. 48, pl.
43.

Martha Wolff, “Reconstitution d’une scène de la Passion peint par le Maître de Moulins,” Revue de l’art, no. 147 (2005), pp. 58, 63, 66, fig. 13.

Martha Wolff in Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2008, pp. 15-23, ill.

Ownership History

Private collection, Paris, 1906 [according to Friedländer 1925]. Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, London, 1906–14; sold to Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago, 1914 [invoice dated June 1914, Art Institute Archives.]; on loan to the AIC from 1914; bequeathed to the AIC, 1933.




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