The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art

Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier - 1452-60 Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia
Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier – 1452-60
Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia

This image is from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet.  It is one image from Fouquet’s paintings of the book of hours. It was commissioned by king Charles VII of France in the 14 Century.

In this image we see the Quaternity. The three white robbed men share a throne and to the left we see the Virgin on a thrown by herself.  The three white-robed men may be seen as representing the Trinity, and the inclusion of the Virgin (divine mother) creates a Quaternity. Notice also that the painting forms a mandala.

A prayer of the same time period praised the Virgin as God’s equal

Ave, sedens solio, quod equale deo, per eterna secula nos commenda eo.

Hail, you who sit on the throne that is equal to God’s: commend us to him throughout the ages.

Reference:

God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry, and Belief in the Middle Ages by Barbara Newman- 2003

2 thoughts on “The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art

    1. That’s wonderful. Thank you! I am traveling and do not have the Collected Works with me. So, I looked up CW 11 via the web. Jung says:

      “The mandala encloses the three identical male figures composing the trinity and a fourth, female figure, together with the four symbols of the Evangelists, three in the form of animals and one (Mathew) in the form of an angel. Mary is Queen of the Angels.”

      I notice that Jung says: “Mary is the queen of angels.” If we look to the image “Madonna della rosa” we see Mary surrounded by little angels. I am thinking of the divine mother, angels, roses, love…

      In this passage, Jung also references CF pp. 64ff and 107ff. I am now quite curious if he says anything further in the footnotes. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until I have my books to comment further.

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