Jean Fouquet’s diptych from the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame in Melun is one of the masterworks of French painting and of fifteenth century art in general. The former left panel, featuring a portrait of the donor Étienne Chevalier and a representation of Saint Stephen, came into the Gemäldegalerie’s collection in 1896. The right panel, depicting the Madonna, has belonged to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp since the early nineteenth century. In addition, there is the enamel medallion with a self-portrait of the artist, which once decorated the frame of the diptych and is now preserved in the Louvre.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, which has made this unique and one-off reunification possible. The Berlin panel is too fragile to travel. It is only because of the temporary closure of the Antwerp museum that the iconic panel now travels to Berlin for this reunification.
Curated by Stephan Kemperdick, the presentation at Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie will bring all of these fragments together for the first time in 80 years, thereby briefly restoring the lost unity of a great work of art. Planned several times in the last decades but never realized, the reunification of the two large, well-preserved paintings is a sensation and offers viewers an exceptional aesthetic experience.
A publication will be released for the exhibition, presenting new research on the work and the circumstances of its creation, as well as on the artist himself.