Jean Molinet

Jean Molinet

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Jean Molinet was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, chronicler, and composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. He is best remembered for his prose
Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure...

 translation of Roman de la rose
Roman de la Rose
The Roman de la rose, , is a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the...


Born in Desvres
Desvres is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is a market town, known for its pottery.In 1999 its population was 5,260 inhabitants for the commune and 14,164 inhabitants for the canton.-External links:* *...

, which is now part of France, he studied in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. He entered the service of Charles, Duke of Burgundy from 1463, becoming secretary to Georges Chastellain
Georges Chastellain
Georges Chastellain , Burgundian chronicler and poet, was a native of Aalst in Flanders. In spite of excessive partiality to the Duke of Burgundy, Chastellain's historical works are valuable for the accurate information they contain. As a poet he was famous among his contemporaries...

; in 1464 he wrote La complainte de Grece, a political work presenting the Burgundian side in current affairs. He replaced Chastellain as historiographer
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

 in 1475, and he was also the librarian
A librarian is an information professional trained in library and information science, which is the organization and management of information services or materials for those with information needs...

 of Margaret of Austria. His chronicle covered the years 1474 to 1504, and was only published in 1828 after being edited by J. A. Buchon. It is considered inferior to Chastellain's chronicle, possessing less historical value.

He was the head of a Burgundian school of poetry called the Grands Rhétoriqueurs
Grands Rhétoriqueurs
The Grands Rhétoriqueurs or simply the "Rhétoriqueurs" is the name given to a group of poets from 1460 to 1520 working in Northern France, Flanders and the Duchy of Burgundy whose ostentatious poetic production was dominated by an extremely rich rhyme scheme and experimentation with assonance...

, characterised by their excessive use of pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

s. His nephew Jean Lemaire de Belges
Jean Lemaire de Belges
Jean Lemaire de Belges was a Walloon poet and historian who lived primarily in France.He was born in Hainaut , the godson and possibly a nephew of Jean Molinet, and spent some time with him at Valenciennes, where the elder writer held a kind of academy of poetry. Lemaire in his first poems calls...

 spent some time with him at Valenciennes
Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.It lies on the Scheldt river. Although the city and region had seen a steady decline between 1975 and 1990, it has since rebounded...

, and Lemaire considered himself a disciple of the elder writer.

In 1501 he became canon
Canon (priest)
A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

 of the church of Notre-Dame in Valenciennes, and he died there on August 23, 1507.

Molinet was also a composer, although only one work, the rondeau
Rondeau (music)
The rondeau was a Medieval and early Renaissance musical form, based on the contemporary popular poetic rondeau form. It is distinct from the 18th century rondo, though the terms are likely related...

 Tart ara mon cueur sa plaisance, can be reliably attributed to him; however this work, an early chanson
A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specialising in chansons is known as a "chanteur" or "chanteuse" ; a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.-Chanson de geste:The...

 for four voices (most were for three) was extremely popular, as evidenced by the wide distribution of copies. He is also remembered for the elegy he wrote on the death of Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century, and is often considered the most...

, Nymphes des bois
Nymphes des bois
Nymphes des bois, also known as La Déploration de Johannes Ockeghem, is a lament composed by Josquin des Prez on the occasion of the death of his predecessor Johannes Ockeghem in February 1497. The piece, based on a poem by Jean Molinet and including the funeral text Requiem Aeternam as a cantus...

, set by Josquin des Prez
Josquin Des Prez
Josquin des Prez [Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez] , often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance...

 as part of his renowned motet La déploration sur la mort de Johannes Ockeghem. Of other contemporary composers, both Antoine Busnois
Antoine Busnois
Antoine Busnois was a French composer and poet of the early Renaissance Burgundian School. While also noted as a composer of sacred music, such as motets, he was one of the most renowned 15th-century composers of secular chansons...

 and Loyset Compère
Loyset Compère
Loyset Compère was a French composer of the Renaissance. Of the same generation as Josquin des Prez, he was one of the most significant composers of motets and chansons of that era, and one of the first musicians to bring the light Italianate Renaissance style to France.-Life:His exact place of...

 carried on correspondence with him.

Historian Johann Huizinga quotes some anti-clerical lines of Molinet's from a series of wishes for the New Year: "Let us pray God that the Jacobins/May eat the Augustinians,/And that the Carmelites may be hanged/With the cords of the Minorites."

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