Lot 412
  • 412

Léonard Limousin (1505-1575/1577) France, Limoges, circa 1530-1550

50,000 - 80,000 USD
75,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • the Annunciation
  • signed LL on the vase 
  • enamelled copper, highlighted in gold
  • 8 5/8  by 6 1/2  in., 22 by 16.5 cm.

Catalogue Note

Léonard Limousin was the greatest exponent of the school of Fontainbleau in enamelling and the present plaque exhibits the bravura for which he was known. He was celebrated as a portraitist second only in France to François Clouet and Corneille de Lyon (Verdier, op. cit., p. xxii). His use of chiaroscuro was hailed and afforded Limousin particular attention from the French court.

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