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Coming Soon: Kings, Queens, and Courtiers

While we can't show you what's going on inside Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France (opening tomorrow to members and Sunday to the public), we can show you the very royal entrance, which highlights two paintings from the exhibition.

On the left is a detail from Madeleine of Burgundy Presented by Saint Mary Magdalene by Jean Hey, who was also known as the Master of Moulins. While you may guess that Mary Magdalene is the more plainly dressed woman on the left, she is actually the more ostentatiously dressed woman with large jewels and extensive embroidery on the right. But as you look more closely at the other woman (Madeleine of Burgundy, the donor), you'll notice that her ermine-lined gown, gold jewelry, and pearl rosary also convey her high status. This painting was probably part of a diptych, presumably pairing the two women with the Virgin and Child.

On the right is a detail from Louis XII Kneeling in Prayer Accompanied by Saint Michael, Saint Charlemagne, Saint Louis, and Saint Denis. At the time this was painted by Jean Bourdichon in 1498/99, Louis XII had recently been coronated. In this image, he is flanked by his patron saint and three other male saints, all of whom would have been connected to his role as king of France.

See these paintings and approximately 120 other objects (including medals, sculptures, and a vessel that carried the actual heart of Anne of Brittany) in this majestic exhibition, running through May 30.