Accueil Polychromies Secrètes
musée des Augustins
Mairie Toulouse

Toulouse in the second half of the 15th century,
conditions for an artistic revival

After the Hundred Years War between France and England, famine and the Black Death (1337-1453), then the (accidental) Great Fire of 1463 in Toulouse, Civitas Tholosa de Nicolas Bertrand, 1515. Archives municipales de Toulouse.
Civitas Tholosa by Nicolas Bertrand, 1515.

Toulouse Municipal Archives.
the second half of the 15th Century was a period of economic and artistic revival.

The decisive rallying of Languedoc to the party of the future King of France, Charles VII (against the Duke of Burgundy and the English) no doubt earned Toulouse the privilege of being the seat of a Parliament second only to that of Paris, from March 1420. The presence of the Parliament, attracting lawyers and their clients from the whole of Languedoc, contributed to Toulouse’s prestige and prosperity.

The end of the unrest also enabled an increase in the pastel trade, a plant which yields a rare and precious blue dye, affordable only by the most well-to-do. A huge trade grew up involving Spain, England and even the Netherlands, and contributed to the emergence of a new economic prosperity. Commissions for works of art naturally followed on from this growth. The city then began to attract famous artists and housed a large number of studios devoted to all the artistic disciplines.