PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Léonard Limousin was the first Limoges enameller to copy engravings by Raphael’s followers and to disseminate compositions by the early Italian mannerists. His enamelled works of art and objects were highly valued; they were displayed in the Cabinet de Bagues in the palace at Fontainbleau where they were shown with cameos, intaglios and goldsmith's work by Cellini. In 1547, Limousin produced for King François I, after drawings by Primaticcio and cartoons after Michel Rochetel, twelve large plaques of the Apostles which were subsequently installed in a chapel at Château d’Anet for Diane de Poitiers. Limousin also created various enamel series of royal portraits, the Life and Passion of Christ and other religious scenes. After the death of the François I, Henri II in 1548 bestowed Limousin with the title of esmaileur peintre.
The present signed plaque was produced after a print by Limousin (fig. 1) that was unmistakably influenced by painters from the Fontainbleau School such as Giulio Romano and Andrea Solario.
P. Verdier, The Walters Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Painted Enamels of the Renaissance, Baltimore, 1967
U. Weinhold, Maleremail aus Limoges im Grünen Gewölbe, Munich, 2008, no. 2
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