Jean Fouquet French Painter 1420 AD - 1481 AD
Jean (or Jehan) Fouquet (1420–1481) was a preeminent French painter of the 15th century, a master of both panel painting and manuscript illumination, and the apparent inventor of the portrait miniature. He was the first French artist to travel to Italy and experience at first hand the Italian Early Renaissance.
Jean Fouquet was born in Tours. Little is known of his life, but it is certain that he was in Italy before 1447, where he executed a portrait of Pope Eugene IV who died in that year (now surviving only in much later copies), and that upon his return to France, while retaining his purely French sentiment, he grafted the elements of the Tuscan style, which he had acquired during his period in Italy, upon the style of the Van Eycks, which was the basis of early 15th-century French art, and thus became the founder of an important new school. He worked for the French court, including King Charles VII, the treasurer Etienne Chevalier, and the chancellor Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins; near the end of his career, he became court painter to Louis XI. His work can be associated with the French court's attempt to solidify French national identity in the wake of its long struggle with England in the Hundred Years' War.