Two enamels preempted by the Musée national de la Renaissance at the Saint-Laurent & Bergé auction


1. Léonard Limosin (vers 1505-1575)
Paris, c. 1540
Enamel - 31.2 x 25 cm
Ecouen, Musée national de la Renaissance
Photo : Christie’s Paris

27/2/09 – Acquisitions – Ecouen, Musée national de la Renaissance – On the third and last day of the Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé auction, as we know a highly successful one, only the Musée national de la Renaissance implemented its preemption rights to acquire three enamels (in two lots).

The first one, representing Paris (ill. 1 ; 217,000€ with charges), is by Léonard Limosin. It is part of a series on the theme of ill-fated lovers of which fifteen elements are known today. Two are at the Walter Art Gallery in Baltimore while nine are already held by French museums : Blois owns two, Le Puy-en-Velay also has two (which are on deposit from the Louvre), the Musée Vivenel in Compiègne holds six. Ecouen also exhibits one of these enamels with the subject of Deianira.
There was probably a Helen corresponding to the one of Paris, but it is not known. Thierry Crépin-Leblond, the director of the Musée de la Renaissance, devoted an article to this series in La Revue de l’Art in 1997 which can be found on the internet [1]. In it, he suggests that this plates most likely decorated a cabinet and that they were probably incrusted in a moulded paneling.


2. Martial Ydeux, middle of the XVI century
Joshua
Enamel - Diameter : 18.6 cm
Ecouen, Musée national de la Renaissance
Photo : Christie’s Paris

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3. Martial Ydeux, middle of the XVI century
The King Arthur
Enamel - Diameter : 18.6 cm
Ecouen, Musée national de la Renaissance
Photo : Christie’s Paris


The other two enamels acquired by Ecouen (for 103,000€ including charges) are also part of a series, the Nine Champions, heros celebrated for their knightly virtues. These are Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar who represent Antiquity, Joshua (ill. 2), David and Judas Maccabee illustrating the Old Testament and finally, King Arthur (ill. 3), Charlemagne and Godefroy de Bouillon who symbolize Christianity. The identity of the artist, Martial Ydeux, was only discovered recently. The Louvre owns several works by this enamel artist [2].

Version française


Didier Rykner, vendredi 27 février 2009


Notes

[1] This article is published on the internet without any photographs for absurd copyright reasons. They are absurd as almost all of these works belong to museums and especially because the art of Léonard Limosin, dead for over 70 years, now falls under public property.

[2] Many thanks once again to Edward Vignot who told us of the preemptions.



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