carried to a high point of perfection in this period, especially
at Limoges. The 12tb and 13th centuries saw the zenith of 'Email
Champleve-', in which the artist engraves the designs upon the metal
plate and fills in the lines or grooves with enamel (Ital. smalto; Fr.
email); while the 14th and 15th centuries saw the perfection of
'Email Translucide', in which the entire plate is covered with a thin
coating of enamel, allowing the engraved design to shine through.
Finally, the weaving of Tapestry attained to great perfection during
the 15th century in the workshops of Arras, Aubusson, and Paris.
The finest example of this period now to be found in Paris is the
series illustrating the romance of the Lady and the Unicorn, in the
Muse'e de Cluny.
In spite, however, of the fact that some artists produced great
works during the first half of the 16th century, signs of exhaustion
had already begun to appear. Gothic architecture continued, indeed,
to be practised after the beginning of the 16th century, as is
proved by the choir-apses at Amiens and Chartres, the Grosse Horloge
at Rouen, and the Tour St. Jacques and the church of St. Merri at
Paris; but on the whole it had by that time outlived its mandate,
and even Franco-Flemish art had said its last word in the works of
Sluter. What L. Courajod calls a 'relaxation of realism' awakened
a strong desire for beauty and nobility of form — a desire that
could be satisfied only from the South. As early as 1450 the
greatest artists were under the influence of the Italian Renais¬
sance. Elements from both the North and the South are found
strangely mingled in Jean Foucquet of Tours (b. 1415) , the most
important French painter of this period, who had spent several years
in Italy and painted the portrait of Pope Eugenius IV. The Livre
d'Heures painted by Foucquet for Etienne Chevalier, and now at
Chantilly, is one of the most exquisite creations in the whole range
of miniature-painting; while the portraits of the Chancellor des
Ursins and Charles VII. in the Louvre proclaim the same artist as
a great portrait-painter. Two of his younger contemporaries — Jean
Bourdichon, who painted the famous Heures of Anne of Brittany,
and Jean Perreal — had also visited Italy. The centre of French
art at this period was Tours, and here also worked Michel Colombe
(d. 1512), the most celebrated sculptor of the time. Colombe's chief
work is the tomb of Francis II., Dake of Brittany, in Nantes, and
some authorities are inclined to ascribe to him also the expressive
Entombment at Solesmes. Casts of both these works are at the Tro¬
cadero, while the Louvre contains an original work of Colombe (St.
George and the Dragon).
The relations of the court, but more particularly the Italian cam¬
paigns of the French kings, turned the scale. Charles VIII. brought
back with him not only paintings but painters, and under Louis XI.
began that great immigration of Italian artists into France which
culminated under Francis I. In 1507 Andrea Solario painted the