Egerton 1070, f. 53

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Barthélemy d’Eyck, an artist of Netherlandish origin, is first recorded in Aix in 1444; he next appears in the service of René I (1409-1480), king of Naples and duke of Anjou, as valet de chambre between 1447 and 1469. From 1447 to 1449, Barthélemy worked at René’s château of Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône); in 1451 he travelled in the duke’s entourage to Guyenne; and in 1456 he was at Angers. The high esteem in which he was held is reflected in Jean Pélerin’s third edition of his De artificiali perspectiva of 1521, which bears a frontispiece poem praising artists of different countries: Barthélemy is mentioned in the same line as Jean Fouquet and Jean Poyer. No documented work of his has survived. However, because of Barthélemy’s presence in Aix in 1444, some identify him with the Master of the Aix Annunciation, a huge altarpiece of c. 1443/45 divided into several panels (Aix-en-Provence, Sainte Marie-Madeleine, and others). A number of manuscripts made for René were also attributed to him, formerly grouped under the appellation Master of the king René of Anjou, or, more specifically after one of his manuscripts, the Master of the Cœur d’Amour épris (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ms. 2597). In this book of hours, Barthélemy added five miniatures and, in the margins, the emblematic sails with the motto ‘En Dieu en soit’ (see the Egerton Master) for the later owner, René d'Anjou in the early 1440s. Cluing us in to his Netherlandish formation is the rubric ‘Sequntur Officium Mortuorum’ imitating inscriptions in paintings by Jan van Eyck that appear to be carved in stone; gold, too, is skilful imitated by yellow and brown, and the use of little dots and short dense strokes carefully indicate light and shadow.  
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