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Work Portrait of the count palatine of the Rhine

Department of Decorative Arts: Renaissance

Plaque : Jean-Philippe, comte palatin du Rhin

© 2000 RMN / Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Decorative Arts
Renaissance

Author(s):
Baratte Sophie

An oval plaque in polychrome enamel. Portrait of the count palatine of the Rhine, Jean-Philippe (1521-66), a distinguished warrior during the wars waged by François I (reigned 1515 to 1547) and Charles IX (reigned 1560 to 1574). The finesse of the work and the beauty of the gold embroidery make this piece a magnificent example of the small portraits of courtiers by Léonard Limosin.

The man

Jean-Philippe, count palatine of the Rhine, was the husband of Jeanne Galliot de Genouillac, daughter of the Grand Master of Artillery. He joined the Ordre de Saint-Michel (Order of St. Michael) in 1550, and wears its pendant in the portrait. Identification in the Révoil collection was disputed and then confirmed by comparison with drawn portraits. The plaque was copied in the nineteenth century.

Léonard Limosin and the court

The Limoges enamel artist's presence at the court seems to be linked to the fact that Jean de Langeac, the king's chaplain in 1516 and ambassador of François I on several occasions, was appointed Bishop of Limoges in 1533. Indeed, Léonard Limosin made enamel plaques dated 1536 that bear the bishop's arms. The enamel portrait of Queen Eleanor in the collection of the Musée National de la Renaissance dates from the same year. It can thus be considered that Léonard Limosin was already in contact with the court at that time. He is mentioned in the accounts toward 1545 for ordering of a series of apostles that was delivered in 1547, after the death of François I. He appears in the accounts several times and received various payments. In 1553, he received an order for retables for the Sainte-Chapelle and, in 1555-56, made several large oval portraits of court personalities.

Acquisition by the museum

The museum acquired the collection of Medieval and Renaissance objets d'art of the Lyons painter and troubadour Pierre Révoil in 1828; it consisted of 839 items including twenty-seven painted enamel works.

Bibliography

Baratte Sophie, Léonard Limosin au musée du Louvre, Paris, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1993.

Technical description

  • Léonard LIMOSIN

    Plaque : Jean-Philippe, comte palatin du Rhin

    1550

    Limoges

  • Émail peint sur cuivre

    H. : 20 cm. ; L. : 14,50 cm.

  • Ancienne collection Révoil, acquis en 1828 , 1828

    MR R 283

  • Decorative Arts

    Richelieu wing
    1st floor
    Léonard Limosin
    Room 21
    Vitrine 2

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Additional information about the work

Signed and dated "LL 1550" in black on the counter-enamel