• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2090

    European Furniture, Sculpture, Works Of Art, Tapestries And Carpets

    22 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 143

    A FRENCH ENAMEL PORTRAIT PLAQUE OF ANNE DE MONTMORENCY, CONSTABLE DE FRANCE

    AFTER LEONARD LIMOUSIN, CIRCA 1870

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH ENAMEL PORTRAIT PLAQUE OF ANNE DE MONTMORENCY, CONSTABLE DE FRANCE
    AFTER LEONARD LIMOUSIN, CIRCA 1870
    Of Renaissance style, within a scrolled giltwood frame inset with enamel masks and set with further plaques, the two of plaques on the sides with classically dressed women bearing baskets of fruit on their heads and with upper and lower panels with cabochons each inscribed with 'H' and 'K' at the top and base of frame
    14½ in. (37 cm.) high, 11½ in. (29 cm.) wide


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Léonard Limousin (d. 1575/77) is known as the Fontainebleau School's greatest exponent in enamel painting. Appointed peintre émailleur et valet de chambre du Roi by Henry II in 1548, he later served both François II and Charles IX. The present portraits of Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France (d. 1567) and Catherine de'Medici (d. 1589), wife of Henry II and Regent during the minority of her son, Charles IX, represent two of enamel painting's greatest patrons. Limousin's portrait of the first, who probably became acquainted with the work of the enamel painters through the offices of his younger brother Philippe, Bishop of Limoges, was executed in 1556 and is now in the Louvre. Catherine de'Medici, on the other hand, was depicted no less than fourteen times. A total of eighteen of Limousin's portraits, including that of Anne de Montmorency and four of the Catherine de'Medici portraits, were mounted as here in elaborate frames incorporating additional enamel plaques depicting cherub and grotesque masks, satyrs, bacchantes and coats of arms.

    A pair of portraits of Anne de Montmorency and Catherine de' Medici, in identical frames to the present portrait, from the von Oppenheim Trust, were sold Christie's New York, 24 April 2001, lot 223.