Marguerite de France as Minerva: a sixteenth-century Limoges painted enamel by Jean de Court in the Wallace Collection.
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If the enamel is indeed authentic, it is of considerable significance. However, Limoges painted enamels were in great demand with wealthy collectors at this period and in recent years research has produced increasing evidence of nineteenth century faking of renaissance-style enamels. Several unusual characteristics of Jean de Court's enamel have led to concern about its status. (5)
The first section of this article explores the cultural context of the enamel, and--on the basis of this and of recent scientific analysis (for which, see the Appendix by Isabelle Biron)--seeks to lay to rest doubts about its authenticity. Following on from this, the second section discusses the complex issue of the identity of Jean de Court and his oeuvre, in which the Wallace Collection enamel plays a a key role.
The enamel, measuring 20.9 x 15.8 cm, is painted in polychrome opaque and translucent enamels with gold highlights and has a colourless counter enamel. Marguerite has Minerva's attributes as Goddess of War and of Wisdom. As Goddess of War, she wears her traditional flowing robes and a breastplate, holds a spear and a shield decorated with the head of the Gorgon Medusa, and has a plumed helmet at her feet. As Goddess of Wisdom, her foot rests on some books surmounted by an owl. She is seated on a globe in the form of an armillary sphere.
This enamel is unique in several respects. Inscribed on the reverse, 'Jehan de Court ma faict 1555', it is the only fully signed and dated piece by the artist. The positioning of the inscription on the reverse is unusual at this period. Jean de Court's plaque is also exceptional both in representing, in enamel, a full-length image of a contemporary court figure in the guise of a mythological deity, and, in so doing, demonstrably deriving the face of the subject from an identifiable, care fully observed portrait source.
By the mid sixteenth century, the identification of the French royal family and their circle with the deities of classical mythology was a device regularly employed by poets and artists. However, this plaque is one of the very few sixteenth-century dramatised portraits in Limoges enamel. The other examples are by or attributed to Leonard Limosin. The earliest are full length depictions of Francois I as St Thomas and Jacques de Genouillac as St Paul, attributed to Limosin and datable c. 1547. (6) Limosin also depicted Claude de Lorraine and various members of his family triumphing over identifiable heretics in an allegorical plaque, the Triumph of the Eucharist of the Catholic Faith, of c. 1550-62. (7) His other enamels of this kind place contemporaries in narratives drawn from classical mythology. The first two are dated 1555: one is a dish bearing the arms of Anne de Montmorency, (8) which depicts The gods celebrating the wedding of Psyche and Cupid after a print by the Master of the Die, (9) with court figures replacing some of the gods; (10) the other is a plaque depicting Venus and Cupid, possibly with Lady Fleming, a mistress of Henri II, in the guise of the goddess. (11) This fashion was evidently at its height in 1555, the year which saw the publication of Pierre Ronsard's 'Hynne de Henry Deuxiesme de ce nom, Roy de France', in which Henri's court is described as the new Olympus. (12) Limosin revisited the theme in 1573 74, creating a series of at least six plaques in each of which a member of the French court, in contemporary costume, is depicted as a classical deity in a celestial chariot. (13)
The depiction of Marguerite de France in the guise of Minerva was very topical in 1555. In addition to Ronsard's 'Hynne', in which the poet asks the king, 'Et n'as-tu pas aussi une Minerve sage/ Ta proper unique soeur ...' (14) Francois Billon published Le Fort Inexpugnable du Sexe Feminin, where the Marguerite/Minerva analogy was extensively developed. Described as 'une Pallas contre Ignorance armee', Marguerite was presented as the guardian of the 'Deuzieme Bastion sur la chastete et Honnestete des Femmes', an appropriate responsibility for an unmarried princess in the guise of a virgin goddess. (15)
This most erudite princess, accomplished in Latin, Greek and Italian, was repeatedly identified with the goddess by some of the greatest writers of the day during the decade from 1549 until her marriage to Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, in 1559, and her subsequent move to Turin. (16) The convention was instigated in 1549 by Ronsard, the most illustrious of the the Pleiade poets, when he drew a parallel between the births of Pallas, daughter of Zeus, and Marguerite, daughter of Francois 1:
Par un miracle nouveau,/Pallas du bout de sa lance/Ouvrit le docte cerveau/De Francois grand roy de France:/Alors, estrange nouvelle!/Tu nasquis de sa cervelle ... Ainsi tu allas trouver/Le villain monster Ignorance,/Qui souloit toute la France. (17)
What was the reason for this analogy, and how exclusively was it applied to Marguerite?
In addition to her intellectual accomplishments, Marguerite actively encouraged contemporary writers. After defending Ronsard's poetry at court in 1550, she was regarded as the protectress of the Pleiade poets. In 'la guerre des muses et de l'Ignorance', (18) Marguerite was the celebrated mascot of the literati, 'la Pallas nouvelle'. (19) Although, very rarely, other members of the French royal family were associated with Minerva during Marguerite's lifetime, (20) her status as the candidate most worthy of the analogy was unassailable. This point was emphasised by Etienne Jodelle on several occasions, most notably in Le Recueil des Inscriptions, figures, devises, et masquerades, ordonnes en l'hostel de ville a Paris, le Jeudi 17. de Fevrier. 1558, where Elisabeth, daughter of Henri II, states: 'Learn, stranger, why my head is bound with Pallas's olive bough: either I shall be Pallas here on earth after Marguerite's day, or the world shall produce its ancient olive by my aid.' (21) Joachim Du Bellay reiterated Marguerite's exceptional claim to the analogy when he referred to two new Minervas, Jeanne d'Albret and Anne d'Este, and proclaimed, 'Mais nostre Marguerite/Sur toute autre merite/De Minerve le nom', (22) and M.-C. De Buttet made a similar claim for the princess. (23) This was not mere flattery. Du Bellay wrote to a friend that since the death of her father, 'pere & instaurateur des bonnes lettres' she 'estoit demouree l'unique support & refuge de la vertu, & de ceux qui en font profession'. (24) Marguerite's association with Minerva continued, albeit considerably less intensively, until her death. (25) The analogy also occurs on coins and medals. (26) However, the most extensive allusion to Marguerite's academic interests occurs in Civitas veri sive morum, written by her secretary, Bartolommeo Delbene (d. 1595), and published in 1609. (27)
The identification of Marguerite with Minerva as Goddess of Wisdom appears to have its place within a Valois dynastic tradition, realised in the visual arts on numerous occasions. Marguerite's paternal grandmother, Louise of Savoy, was represented as Prudence on more than one occasion. (28) Marguerite's device, a caduceus made up of an olive branch and two entwining snakes ('de l'Olive, ensemble du Serpent, sinifiant ainsi, toutes choses estre regies, et gouvernees par sapience, ou sagesse'), (29) is reminiscent of the caduceus, symbol of Eloquence and Reason and attribute of Peace personified, which Caesar passes to the young Francois I in a manuscript illumination by Godefroy le Batave in Les Commentaires de la Guerre Gallique, dated 1519. (30) Francois is depicted banishing Ignorance in a fresco by Rosso Fiorentino in the Galerie Francois Ier at Fontainebleau. (31) Marguerite's aunt, Marguerite d'Angouleme, queen of Navarre, the authoress of L'Heptameron, was identified with Minerva, (32) and Du Bellay saw Marguerite de France as her aunt's successor. (33)
The meaning of the globe depicted on the enamel is undoubtedly intended to encompass both the literary and dynastic aspects of Marguerite's identification with the goddess. As a symbol of Fame, it is the visual embodiment of Du Bellay's desire to sing the glory of the 'Pallas nouvelle', 'A nous, a nos enfants, et ceux qui naitront d'eux'. (34) However, it also alludes to the verbal equivalent of Marguerite's device, her motto, 'Rerum sapientia custos' ('Wisdom, guardian of Line world'). (35)
Within the context of the sixteenth century, Jean de Court's enamel is a rare example of a contemporary portrait in the guise of a figure from classical mythology in which the face can be shown to derive from a specific portrait source. The drawing on which Marguerite's face is modelled is attributed to Francois Clouet, and dates from around 1555 (Fig. 4). (36) This drawing evidently served as Marguerite's 'official' portrait, since it was the source for portraits of her in other media, including two that she certainly owned. It may be unique among the works attributed to Clouet in being used as a portrait source for a Limoges enamel, illuminated manuscripts and oil paintings.
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The portrait is one of a collection of drawings attributed to Francois Clouet and his workshop that belonged to Marguerite's sister-in-law, Catherine de' Medici, and is now in the Musee Conde at Chantilly. (37) The identities of the sitters were inscribed on the drawings in this collection in the sixteenth century, probably whilst in Catherine de" Medici's possession, so many of the individuals represented would have been known to the person or persons responsible for the inscriptions.
Further evidence that the subject of the drawing is Marguerite de France is provided by a prayer book that she received as a wedding gift. The book, commissioned by Christophe Duch, an important figure at Emmanuel Philibert's court, is one of the treasures of the Biblioteca Reale, Turin. (38) Marguerite's portrait features twice in the prayer book, and in both instances it is derived from the drawing at Chantilly. She is represented in one of a pair of medallions containing portraits of the newlyweds, (Fig. 5) and also in the guise of her namesake and principal protectress, St Margaret of Antioch (Fig. 6). In the latter image, Marguerite has a more contempletative expression than the commanding and authoritative gaze adopted on the enamel. While, in the enamel, Marguerite has become the goddess, the depiction of her as St Margaret shows her in contemporary dress but with the attributes of the saint. Since St Margaret was the patron of women in childbirth, the subject had a particular significance within the context of a wed ding gift to the bride of the head of the Savoy dynasty. The composition may owe a debt, perhaps with an intentional dynastic echo, to a painting of the saint by Raphael and Giulio Romano which may have been intended to flatter Marguerite's aunt, Marguerite d'Angouleme. (39) The prayer book portraits have been attributed to Francois Clouet or to an accomplished artist at the French court. (40) The modelling of Marguerite's face in the manuscript portrait of her as St Margaret and in the enamel is remarkably similar. (Figs. 6 and 13) The Chantilly drawing was also the model for two oil portraits of Marguerite which are attributed to Francois Clouet. (Figs. 7 and 8). (41) In addition, it was the source for Marguerite's portrait in Catherine de' Medici's Book of Hours, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris (Fig. 9) (42)
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The Chantilly drawing has not been pricked for transfer. However, it has pin holes at the top and bottom that are thought to date front the sixteenth century, suggesting that it was pinned up and used as a workshop model. It seems possible, therefore, that the works of art based directly on this drawing were created within one workshop where the drawing was accessible. It is intriguing to imagine the circumstances in which Jean de Court's enamel, meticulously incorporating details such as the earring and the tear duct from the drawing, might have been produced.
For his depiction of Marguerite/Minerva's costume and attributes, Jean de Court depended on a print representing Pallas, by the Fontainebleau artist Rene Boyvin after Luca Penni (Fig. 10)). (43) However, he transformed his source with creative ingenuity. In the print, the goddess stands, but in the enamel she is seated, making it easier for de Court to remain faithful to the position of Marguerite's head in the portrait drawing. The enameller has moved the globe from its position on the left of the print to the right of the plaque, where it serves as a seat for Marguerite/Minerva, and also--since it is an armillary sphere--reinforces the idea of the spread of her fame throughout the universe. The spear remains in Minerva's right hand and the shield in her left. However, the pile of books surmounted by the owl has shifted to the left to provide a footrest, contributing to the regal aura of the portrait. Minerva's fantastic plumed helmet, on her head in the print, is now at her feet, leaving her head, and thus the portrait, unencumbered. As befits a great princess, Marguerite is enthroned before a richly hung interior, while the goddess in the print stands outdoors.
The status of the Wallace Collection enamel is central to the debate concerning the identity of the enameller Jean de Court and his oeuvre that has preoccupied art historians since the mid nineteenth century. (44) The fact that it is inscribed 'IEHAN DE COVRT' has led some art historians to conclude that an enameller of this name was also responsible for pieces bearing the monograms 'IC' and 'IDC'. (45) It has also led to speculation as to whether he was identical with the enameller signing 'ALYMOGVES PAR IEHAN COVRT DIT VIGIER', sometimes abbreviated to 'ICDV', who signed pieces in full in 1555, 1556, 1557 and 1558, (46) as well as with the court painter Jean de Court, who succeeded Francois Clouet as peintre du roi after the latter's death in 1572. (47) Sophie Baratte has recently discussed these problems in her catalogue of the Limoges enamels in the Louvre and elsewhere, and has proposed that the enamels with these various forms of inscription may all have been produced by a workshop belonging to a Jean Court dit Vigier, and that stylistic differences between individual pieces signed in full with the name 'Jean Covrt dit Vigier', and between them and pieces signed 'ICDV' are indicative of workshop participation. She argues that the existence of a workshop would explain the presence of the inscriptions 'ICDV' and 'IC' on pieces which appear to belong to the same service. She suggests that the inscriptions on these enamels identify a workshop, rather than individual enamellers, and that the Wallace Collection enamel might have been made there. Since archival references to the name Jean Court dit Vigier have been recorded in documents dated as wide apart as 1541 and 1627, Baratte speculates that the workshop may have been active for several decades and that the documents refer to more than one person. (48) Baratte has published iconographical evidence that the workshop using the monogram 'IC' was active in the early seventeenth century. (49) In her catalogue of the enamels in the Louvre, Baratte has assigned pieces signed 'Jean Covrt dit Vigier' or 'ICDV', together with those which can be grouped with them, to Jean Court dit Vigier, and those signed 'IC' to Jean Court or Master it, distinguishing between sixteenth and seventeenth century production. She has catalogued the enamel signed 'IDC' separately. (50)
Discussion as to whether the enameller signing 'Jean Court dit Vigier' and the court painter Jean de Court are one and the same person has been thought to hinge upon the interpretation of an ode, 'A M. Dorat Poete du Roy', written in 1583 by the Limoges poet Jacques Blanchon. (51) It is a rollcall of Limousin celebrities, and thus provides evidence that the court painter was a native of Limoges, a fact that has so far been overlooked. The opening lines,
La Destinee fatalle,/Donne a ta Ville natalle,/ Le Prix d'avoir enfante/Des Hommes de qui la Gloire,/Durera a la Memoyre,/De toute Posterite, (52)
provide the context for the often quoted lines:
La sur Artiste Excellence,/De l'Estimable DECOURT,/Que tout l'Univers appelle,/ L'admirable Esprit d'Apelle,/Veu en la Royalle Court ...
The lines that follow on immediately appear to rule out the possibility that the court artist and the enameller signing 'Jean Covrt dit Vigier' are synonymous, since Blanchon wrote:
Ne reluyra ta Patrie,/De la scavante Industrie,/ De Mille aultres bons Esprits,/D'un VIGIER pour l'Esmalheure,/Et de la Science melheure,/D'un CORTEYS des mieux appris ... (53)
This has led to doubts as to whether the court artist Jean de Court and the enameller or enamellers signing 'Jean de Court' and 'Jean Court dit Vigier' on enamels in the 1550s could conceivably be one and the same. (54) However, the lines quoted above do not preclude the court artist and the author of the enamels signed by Jean Court dit Vigier in the mid-1550s from being one and the same, since--as explained above--the name Jean Court dit Vigier continued at Limoges in conjunction with enamelling into the early seventeenth century. (55) It is therefore perfectly possible that the poet is referring both to a subsequent enameller named Vigier from a later generation of the family and to a name sake who signed enamels in the 1550s and was also the peintre du roi. Thus it is feasible that the court painter could also have been responsible for the enamels signed 'Jean de Court' and 'Jean Court dit Vigier'. Might the enameller's name be given in its shorter form on the Wallace Collection plaque because it would not normally be visible and served as a record, rather than as a self-advertisement, for which the more expansive version, also giving the place of production (Fig. 3), might seem more appropriate?
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There remains the question as to whether archival evidence can help to resolve the issue of Jean de Court's identity. A number of nineteenth-century French historians, followed by Louis Dimier in the early twentieth century, cited numerous archival references in this connection, (56) but few of these can be located today and the existence of nineteenth century archival 'inventions' (57) means that evidence now dependent on secondary sources must be treated with extreme caution. The present writer has, therefore, only referred to archival material that has been verified as extant in the development of the argument here, although the documents cited have not been examined at first hand by the author.
Is there any evidence to suggest that the enamellers signing 'Jean de Court' and 'Jean Court dit Vigier' could be one and the same? If so, does this evidence additionally suggest he was a painter, and could, therefore, also be the court artist Jean de Court?
Three documents in French archives suggest that these names were interchangeable in the sixteenth century. A contract for Jean Court dit Vigier to design tapestries, (58) signed in Bordeaux on 18 August 1554, names 'jehan cor divigier painctre de la ville de Limoges', but is signed 'Jehan Vigier'. Not only does this document show that the surname could be abbreviated, but it refers to Jean Court dit Vigier as a painter from Limoges.
Two documents in Limoges establish that the names Jean de Court and Jean Court dit Vigier were interchangeable. An undated map, (59) thought to have been made in the second half of the sixteenth century, is inscribed 'Figure faicte par moy, Jehan Court dit Vigier, maistre peintre de la ville de Limoges', but is also signed 'J. Court'. Once again, Jehan Court dit Vigier describes himself as a painter from Limoges and here the abbreviated signature is given as 'J. Court'. The second document at Limoges is a testament dated 21 September 1565. It is signed 'Jehan Vigier', and a scribe has added 'Court dit'. (60)
Is there further supporting material to substantiate the argument that Jean de Court and Jean Court dit Vigier, enamellers, were one and the same person and identical with the court painter Jean de Court?
A standing bowl and cover in the Cabinet des Medailles of the Bibliotheque Nationale is signed by Jean Court dit Vigier and dated 1556. (61) It bears the coat of arms of Mary Stuart, who arrived at the French court aged five in 1548 and returned to Scotland as a widow in 1561. Mary had an excellent relationship with Marguerite de France, who was more than twice her age and godmother to the Dauphin, whom Mary was to marry in 1558. It seems improbable that two sophisticated, similarly named enamellers would produce work associated with such intimately connected court figures in successive years. (62) Comparison between Jean de Court's inscription (Fig. 2) and that on a casket plaque signed by Jean Court dit Vigier and dated 1555 in the British Museum (Fig. 3), (63) appears to reveal identical hands.
A document in the Archives Nationales may indicate that the court painter Jean de Court was already in the court's employ by 23 January 1558 and proves that he was working for Mary Stuart by 23 April 1562, thus strengthening the case for his identification with the enameller. (64)
This Jean de Court replaced Francois Clouet as peintre du roi in 1572 (65) and is last recorded in 1585. (66) No signed paintings by him are known. However, Dimier established an oeuvre for him as 'le presume Jean Decourt', basing his initial attribution on anecdotal information. (67) Significantly, Dimier revised some attributions of unsigned works formerly attributed to Francois Clouet and ascribed them to 'le presume Jean Decourt', including two portraits of Mary Stuart, one of which has since been reattributed to Clouet. (68) Furthermore, while two closely comparable drawings of Mary Stuart and Marguerite de France in mourning, c. 1560, are attributed to Clouet, (69) a version in oils of the portrait of Marguerite is attributed to Clouet's workshop. (70) Dimier concluded that Decourt had learnt his trade in the atelier of Francois Clouet, and thought that Decourt had been employed on occasion by the court to create copies of Clouet's paintings. (71) It seems reasonable, therefore, to speculate as to whether Jean de Court himself might not be the artist responsible for the model at Chantilly on which his enamelled head of Marguerite is based. Portraits of Marguerite after the same source have, as noted above, been attributed to Clouet or an accomplished artist at the French court. (72)
The hypothesis that Jean de Court, Jean Court dit Vigier and the court painter Jean de Court are one and the same individual might explain why the signed enamels are dated within such a brief period in the mid-1550s. The enamels signed 'Jean de Court' and 'Jean Court dit Vigier' are dated between 1555 and 1558 and the painter Jean de Court appears to have been in Paris, maybe in the court's employ, by January 1558. Perhaps de Court renounced enamelling in favour of oil painting once he was established at court, but retained an enamelling workshop in Limoges, which could explain the use of the monograms 'IC', 'ICDV' and 'IDC'.
Enamels signed in gold with the monogram 'IDC' are likely to be products of the same workshop. Although not dated, they are generally ascribed to the late sixteenth century. Parallels between pieces inscribed 'IC' and 'IDC' are extremely telling, as a comparison between two or three plaques depicting Minerva, one inscribed 'IDC' (Fig. 11) (73) and the other/s, 'IC Minerve mere de tous les arts' (Figs. 12 and 12a), demonstrates. (74) There are numerous further examples of closely comparable enamels inscribed with these monograms. (75) Furthermore, it is possible that sixteen portraits drawings, which Dimier attributed to an artist identified by the inscription 'IDC' on one of them, may have a role to play in discussion of this issue. Dimier dated the drawings, which include portraits of people at court, between c. 1573 and c. 1600. (76)
In conclusion, this article has established the authenticity of Jean de Court's enamel portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva through a combination of cultural and scientific analysis. In so doing, it has highlighted the importance of this intriguing piece within the context of sixteenth-century Limoges enamel production and helped to clarify the complex issues surrounding the artist's identity.
Analysis conducted at the Laboratory of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musees de France (c2RMF), 6 Rue des Pyramides, Paris.
The portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva (no. IIIF253), from the Wallace Collection, was examined at the Laboratory of the C2RMF in the context of a programme of study of painted Limoges enamels. This programme, which has been in operation for a number of years, has been particularly concerned with problems associated with the alteration of glass over time, but is also dedicated to arriving at a greater understanding of techniques of manufacture and materials used.
Analysis of the chemical elements has revealed itself to be a particularly useful tool in determining the date of manufacture of enamels, because Limoges enamellers employed glass of different compositions according to the period of execution. The enamel of Marguerite de France is signed by Jean de Court on the reverse and dated 1555. Nevertheless, doubts about its date of manufacture have been expressed by some art historians. In order to verify the authenticity of the date, the sur face of the enamel was analysed by means of beams of ions with PIXE and PIGME metals (respectively, particle-induced x and gamma rays) using the AGLAE accelerator at the C2RMF. This technique allows one to obtain a precise analysis of the chemical elements which make up the glass (including elements in very low concentration, called trace). This analysis was made directly from the enamel and not by means of sampling. The results obtained were compared with previous results using PIXE and PIGME derived from tests on painted enamels dated to the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries in French public collections, including those of the Musee du Lou are, the Musee de Cluny and the Musee du Petit Palais, all in Paris, as well as the Musee de la Renaissance at Ecouen and the Musee Municipal de l'Eveche at Lima gas (I. Biron, with D. Germain Bonne, 'Study of XVth and XVIth century painted enamels through scientific analysis: Causes of glass deterioration', Berliner Beitrage zur Archaometrie, vol. XVI, 1999, pp. 163-174, and I. Biron, 'Regards croises sur l'emaill paint, le regard du physicien', in Notin et al., op. cit., pp. 22-33) and with results obtained through micro-fluorescence x on objects dating from the 16th to the 19th century in German collections, principally from the museums in Braunschweig, Berlin and Dresden (H. Bronk and S. Rohrs, 'Die Materialzusammensetzung der Glasflusse im Limousiner Maleremail', contribution to the symposium Maleremails des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts aus Limoges, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig, to be published in the conference proceedings and already in the museum's collection catalogue: see Irmgard Musch in n. 47 above).
General analysis of the glass
The enamel of Marguerite de France is composed of predominantly soda-lime silicates which conform to recipes of manufacture for 16th century painted Limoges enamels (B. De Vigenere, 'Emaillerie du XV[I.sup.e] siecle' , in A. Meyer, L'art de l'email de Limoges, Paris, 1895). The type of glass used is manufactured with sand (mainly bringing 20 to 70 percent silica, 1 to 5 percent calcium and 0.4 to 2 percent aluminium in weight oxide percent), alkaline substances deriving from the ash of marine plants such as samphire (11 to 15 percent sodium, 3 to 6 percent potassium and less than 1 to 2 percent magnesium) and metallic oxides used to colour the glass and/or to render it opaque if required. This type of glass, which is of high quality, is extremely stable in its chemistry and consequently does not reveal significant alteration over time.
The elements used to colour it are likewise those mentioned in the early written sources: the translucent blue enamel is made of cobalt (in conjunction with iron); the purplish burgundy enamel is made of manganese; the green enamel is made of copper (in conjunction with iron); the turquoise enamel is made of copper and the yellow enamel with iron. The translucent enamel back ground which looks almost black is in fact a dark burgundy.
In conformity with the 16th-century recipes, the opaque white glass is coloured and opacified by small tin oxide crystals within a glass which is rich in lead. There are significant amounts of lead and tin in this type of glass (respectively, 25.92 and 19.65 percent).
Blue glass: Techniques of manufacture and sources of cobalt
The translucent blue enamels used for the book and for Minerva's drapery are distinctive both by virtue of the technique employed and in their chemical cam position.
The blue glass of the book rests on a layer of opaque white glass, as is common with the other translucent coloured glasses (Fig. 1). By contrast, the blue of the drapery rests on a 'paillon' consisting of a thin metal sheet, probably of silver (Fig. 14). Barb techniques were practised in the 16th century. The use of the 'paillon' was inexpertly managed. A significant escape of gas took place during the enamelling process, and resulted in numerous bubbles in the glass, which have formed blisters, raised areas and cracks (Fig. 14). More generally, however, the plaque, the support and the enamel of the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva are all in an excellent state of preservation (a copper plaque and enamels).
The composition of the blue glass of the book is relatively homogeneous: it is richer in cobalt, copper, arsenic and bismuth and less rich in iron and in manganese than the blue on the 'pail[on', whose composition is contrastingly heterogeneous, and includes traces of silver (possibly coming tram the 'paillon'). Two sources of cobalt were used (or conceivably two different techniques for the preparation of the ore). The first is associated with nickel arsenic and probably with bismuth and iron for the blue of the book, and corresponds to the principal source of cobalt employed by 16th-century enamellers (Biron, op. cit.). The second is associated with nickel and probably with iron in the blue over the 'paillon'. It differs from the previous source of cobalt through the absence of bismuth and arsenic.
Characteristics of the enamel: Comparison with 19th-century examples
The translucent glasses used for the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva (enamel of Marguerite de France) do not possess any of the characteristics found in 19th century painted enamels, nor indeed in 19th-century glass more generally (I. Biron, P. Dandridge and M.T. Wypyski, 'Le cuivre et l'email, technique et materiaux', in L'oeuvre de Limoges: Emaux limousins du Moyen Age, exh. cat., Musee du Louvre, Paris, 1996, pp. 48 62; I. Biron, B. de Chancel-Bardelot, A. Hospital and T. Borel, 'Restaurations du XIXe siecle sur les gisants de Jean et Blanche de France', Techne, nos. 13-14, 2001, pp. 157-68; M. Bailly, I. Biron and N. Tailleur, 'Le vase Lohengrin: Etude de laboratoire et restauration d'une piece exceptionnelle de la verrerie Daum', Core vol. X, 2001, pp. 6-13; I. Biron and G. Pierrat-Bonnefois, 'La tete egyptienne en verre bleu du Musee du Louvre: De la XVIIe dynastic au XXe siecle', Techne, no. 15, 2002, pp. 30-38; idem, 'La tete egyptienne en verre bleu: La conclusion d'une enquete', Revue du Louvre, June 2003, pp. 27-37. These latter are in fact mixed alkaline silicates (rich in sodium and potassium), which are invariably very rich in lead (10 to 40 percent) and in arsenic (0.1 to 0.5 percent), usually with chrome used as a colouring element for the green enamel. The employment in the 19th century of primary materials (sand, alkalines and colouring agents) from different sources from those used in earlier periods leads to the presence of very particular trace elements such as boron, fluorine, uranium and iridium (Brook et Rohrs, op. cit.)--all of which elements are absent in the enamel portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva. By contrast, all the principal trace elements found in this enamel are customarily present in 16th-century enamels.
Like the majority of 16th-century translucent coloured enamels, those in the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva have a low lead content (less than 2 percent). The lead content and the frequency of its use in painted enamels gradually increased over trine: glass with a high lead content is first found in enamels towards the end of the 16th century, and is used with increasing frequency through the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, all known translucent coloured enamels have a high lead content.
In the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva, it is only the colourless counter enamel which has a high lead content (44 percent), as is almost invariably the case, but especially frequently between 1500 and 1625.
Suggested period of manufacture on the basis of analysis of the enamel
Some elements of the chemical composition of the glass used are more relevant than others when it comes to determining the period of manufacture, because their concentration varies significantly over time. By comparing the concentration of these particular dements in the enamel of Marguerite de France' as Minerva with existing reference analyses for pieces ranging in date from the 16th to the 19th century, it becomes possible to propose an approximate date. The most important features are:
The amount of calcium oxide in the counter enamel (consistent with the periods 1550 1625).
The levels of bismuth oxide (1550-1625 and 1800), nickel (1500-1700), cobalt, arsenic, and iron in the blue enamel (1500-1700).
The ratio of concentration of lead and tin oxides (1500-1625) and the amount of lead oxide (1500-1625) and iron oxide (1500 19001 in the opaque white enamel. The concentration of chlorine (1500 1700) and sodium oxide (1500 1625 or later), calcium (1500-1650), phosphorus (1500-1625), lead (1500 1625), arsenic (1550-1700), titanium (1550-1625), strontium (1500-1625) and barium (1550-1625) in the translucent enamels.
According to this analysis, therefore, the common denominator of all these dating brackets allows the period of manufacture of the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva to be placed between 1550 and the early years of the 17th century (around 1625). This approximate dating is particularly reliable by virtue of the fact that it corresponds lo the period for which there are most analyses. (The two periods for which we have the largest number of analyses are 1500 1650 and the second half of the 19th century). The date of 1555 inscribed on the reverse of the piece is consequently entirely compatible with all our results. But we cannot exclude the fact that the portrait of Marguerite de France as Minerva could have been made later than 1555 up to the early part of the 17th century, in which case it would follow that the signature was a deliberate forgery.
There is no aspect of the technique of manufacture which gives any grounds for disputing the results of this analysis. In this respect, it is particularly telling that the signature on the reverse is an integral part of the counter-enamel and was made with the same techniques. Every part of it is full of dark and grainy matter (fig. 15). The material used is a glass whose copper and iron oxide content is high in relation to that of the counter-enamel. Such oxides were used for signatures at various periods from the 16th to the 19th century (Bronk Rohrs, op. cit.), but the composition of the counter-enamel is uniquely typical of the period from 1550-1625.
[FIGURE 15 OMITTED]
The research required for the preparation of this article would not have been possible without the generosity of spirit and expert help of the following: Sophie Baratte, Michele Bimbenet-Privat, Anthea Brook, Lone Campbell, Monique Chatenet, Monique Cohen, Robert Chanaud, Thierry Crepin-Leblond, Alain-Charles Dionnet, Magali Belime Droguet, David Ekserdjian, for his translation of the Appendix text, Susan Foister, Christian Forsdyke, Geraldine Frank, Nicole Gamier, Genevieve Guilleminot-Chretien, Gordon Higgott, Robert Knecht, Richard Lee, Philippa Marks (for confirmation that the book binding depicted on the Wallace Collection enamel is compatible with mid-sixteenth century French bookbinding), Pascal Masse, Elizabeth McGrath, Jean Pierre Mohen, Juanita Navarre, Veronique Notin, Carol Plazzotta, Alison Sounders, Rosalind Savill, Cecile Scaillierez, Keith Selden, Florence Slitine, Hugh Tait, Paul Tear, Dora Thornton, Clare Vincent, Jeremy Warren, Jon Whiteley and Rainer Zietz.
(1) For Nieuwerkerke's collection and its history, see Robert Wenley, 'La "galerie d'un souverain amateur" ', in Marie Dominique de Teneuille and Sophie Laporte (eds.), Le comte de Nieuwerkerke: Art et pouvoir sous Napoleon III, exh. cat., Musee National du Chateau de Compiegne, Paris, 2000, pp. 128-37, and Suzanne Gaynor, 'Comte de Nieuwerkerke: A prominent official of the Second Empire and his collection', APOLLO, vol. CXXII, no. 283 (November 1985), pp. 372-79.
(2) Wallace Collection, no. IIIF 253. Vollon included the enamel in two paintings of works of art in Nieuwerkerke's collection, Curiosites, dated 1868, Musee d'Orsay, Paris, no. RF 117; De Teneuille and Laporte (eds.), op. cit., no. 86, illustrated on p. 32, and Interieur: Un coin du cabinet des armes chez le comte de Nieuwerkerke, c. 1866-68, private collection, illustrated in C.F. Tablet, 'Vollon's "Curiosites" and the comte de Nieuwerkerke: official patronage and private pleasure', Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXIV, no. 953 (August 1982), p. 498, fig. 24. The enamel is mentioned in Alfred Darcel, Notice des emaux et de l' orfevrerie, Paris, 186Z p. 312.
[FIGURE 24 OMITTED]
(3) The enamel's flame is visible in Tetar van Elven's painting, Collection de S.E. le comte de Nieuwerkerke dated 1866. Musee National du Chateau de Compiegne, Paris, no. 51004; De Teneuille and Laporte (eds.), op. cit., no. 85, illustrated on p. 31.
(4) The framed enamel was illustrated in three publications by Edouard Lievre, Les Collections Celebres d'Oeuvres d'Art, Paris, 1869, vol. II, plate 56; idem, Musees et Collections, 3 vols., Paris (undated), second series, plate 34, inscribed as Nieuwerkerke Collection on the plate, but as Wallace's collection in the list of contents; idem, Musee Graphique, 2 vols., Paris (undated), vol. II, as belonging to Wallace. It was also illustrated by A. Demmin in Histoire de la Ceramique, 2 vols., Paris, 1875, vol. II, plate Lt, as Nieuwerkerke Collection, but by now in Wallace's collection. The frame is Wallace Collection, no. F 502. See Peter Hughes, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture, 3 vols., London, 1996, no. 26. It can also be seen in its frame in the two paintings by Vollon referred to in n. 2 above.
(5) The French nineteenth-century production of Limoges renaissance-style enamels has been extensively discussed in the recent literature. See, for example, Florence Slitine, Samson genie de l'imitation, Paris, 2002; Francoise Barbe, 'Les emaux peints au XI[X.sup.e] siecle', in Veronique Notin et al., La Rencontre des Heros, exh. cat., Musee Municipal de l'Eveche, Limoges, 2002, pp. 233-53, and Dora Thornton, 'Painted enamels of Limoges in the Wernher Collection', APOLLO, vol. CLV, no. 483 (May 2002), pp. 10 16, especially pp. 10, 14, note 6. Doubts about the authenticity of the Wallace Collection enamel were expressed in particular by Hugh Tait, when he examined it on 15 August 1991 and on a later occasion.
(6) Musee du Louvre, Paris, MR XIII suppl. 210 (St Paul) and MR XIII suppl. 211 (St Thomas). See Sophie Baratte, Les emaux peints de Limoges (Musee du Louvre, Departement des Objets d'Art), Paris, 2000, pp. 19, 157-59, and Anne-Marie Lecoq, 'Portrait de Francois Ier en saint Thomas', Revue de l'Art, no. 91, 1991, pp. 81-82.
(7) Philippe Verdier, assisted by Joseph Focarino, 'Limoges Painted Enamels' in Philippe Verdier, Maurice S. Dimand and Kathryn C. Buhler, Enamels, Rugs and Sliver in the Frick Collection, New York, 1977, pp. 121-29, and Sophie Baratte, Leonard Limosin au musee du Louvre, Paris, 1993, pp. 64-65, fig. 13.
(8) Private collection, Paris. See Sylvie Beguin (ed.), L'Ecole de Fontainebleau, exh. cat., Grand Palais, Paris, 1972, no. 635. The dish is illustrated in Notin et al., op. cit., p. 139, fig. 129.
[FIGURE 129 OMITTED]
(9) Suzanne Boorsch (ed.),The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian masters of the Sixteenth Century, New York, 1982, vol. XXIX, formerly XV (Part 2), p. 69-II (no. 223). The print is after a design by Michael Coxie.
(10) For discussion of the identities of the female figures, see L. Bourdery and E. Lachenaud, L'Oeuvre des peintres emailleurs de Limoges: Leonard Limosin, peintre de portraits, d'apres les catalogues de ventes, de musees et d'expositions et les auteurs qui se sont occupes de ces emaux, Paris, 1897, where the dish is discussed at nos. 27, 46, 85 and 119; Louis Dimier, Histoire de la Peinture de Portrait en France au XV[I.sup.e] siecle, 3 vols., Paris, 1924-26, vol. I, p. 78, and vol. III, p. 247, no. 20; M. de Laborde, Notice des Emaux exposes dans les Galeries du Musee du Louvre, 2 vols., Paris, 1852-53, vol. I, p. 189; Brigitte Walbe, Studien zur Entwicklung des allegorischen Portrats in Frankreich yon seinen Anfangen bis zur Regierungszeit Konig Heinrichs II, Inauguraldissertation zur Erlangung des Grades eines Doktors der Philosophie im Fachbereich Klassische Philologie und Kunstwissenschaften der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universitat zu Frankfurt am Main, 1974, pp. 143-45.
(11) Musee du Louvre, Paris, MR R 274; Baratte, op. cit. in n. 6 above, p 147.
(12) Pierre Ronsard, Les Hymnes de P. de Ronsard, Gentilhomme Vandomois, en deux livres, Paris, 1560, pp. 7-21. By 1578, when Ronsard was preparing the second edition of his Oeuvres, most of the people in his 1555 Olympus were dead, and he edited the revised version of this poem accordingly.
(13) Charles IX and Catherine de' Medici are shown in the guises of Mars and Juno in plaques in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, nos. 86.SE.536.1 and 86.SE536.2 respectively, illustrated in Baratte, op. cit. in n. 7 above, pp. 56-57, plates 24 and 25. The Duc d'Alencon, Henri d'Anjou, Catherine de' Medici and either Louise de Lorraine or Anne d'Este have been identified as Jupiter, Apollo, Ceres and Venus respectively in four plaques in a private collection in Paris. See Bourdery and Lachenaud, op. cit., pp. 61, 78. There are images of the first three of these in the photographic archive of the Centre de Documentation at the Musee Municipal de l'Eveche, Limoges. The suggestions concerning the identity of the contemporary lady represented as Venus are taken from this archive.
(14) Ronsard, op. cit., p. 16. This reference was deleted from the second edition of Ronsard's Oeuvres.
(15) Billon, op. cit., pp. 33 and 63 respectively
(16) See L-A. Bergounioux, Hugues Salel: Oeuvres Poetiques, Paris, 1929, p. 304; Guy de la Garde, Histoire et description du Phoenix, 1550; Les Amours d'Olivier de Magny, Quercinois, et Quelques Odes de Luy, Paris, 1553, p. 71, but misprinted as 69; Walbe, op. cit., p. 137; Oeuvres Poetiques de M.-C. De Buttet, 2 vols., Paris, 1880, vol. II, pp. 65, 141; Lucien Pinvert (ed.), Jacques Grevin: Theatre Complet et Poesies Choisies, Paris, 1922, p. 220; Margaret L.M. Young. Guillaume des Autelz, Geneva, 1961, p. 149.
(17) Jean Ceard, Daniel Menager and Michel Simonin (eds.), Pierre Ronsard: Oeuvres completes, 2 vols, Paris, 1993, vol. 1, pp. 610-11.
(18) Yvonne Bellenger (ed.), Joachim Du Bellay: Oeuvres poetiques, vol I, Paris, 1982, p. 23.
(18) See Henri Chamard (ed.), Joachim Du Bellay: Oeuvres poetiques, 6 vols, Paris 1908 31, vol. v, pp. 209, 315; Jacques Borel and S. de Sacey (eds.), Joachim Du Bellay: Les Regrets, Les Antiquites de Rome, Defense et Illustration de la Langue francaise Paris, 1967, p. 194.
(20) I am grateful to Dr. Alison Saunders for the following references: three references to Catherine de' Medici being associated with Pallas, two of them dating from long after Marguerite's departure from France for Turin. During her entry into Lyon in 1548, Catherine de' Medici, accompanied in her chariot by Marguerite de France and followed by Marguerite d'Angouleme ('la Royne de Navarre'), was addressed by an actor in the role of Pallas whose speech associated Catherine with the goddess (Richard Cooper [ed.], Maurice Serve: The Entry of Henri II into Lyon September 1548, Tempe, Arizona, 1997, unpaignated facsimile, section 'L'entree de la Royne'). For the Paris entries of Charles IX and Elisabeth of Austria in 1571, Catherine de' Medici was represented as Pallas on a fountain; Catherine's daughter, Marguerite de Valois, was associated with the goddess; and Elisabeth of Austria was associated with Minerva in a series of allegorical sugar confectioneries served up at the 'collation de la royne' (Victor E. Graham and W. McAllister Johnson [eds.], The Paris entries of Charles IX and Elizabeth of Austria 1571, with an analysis of Simon Bouquet's Bref et sommaire recueil, Toronto, 1974, pp. 276-77, pp. 63 and 102 and 239-40 respectively). Catherine de' Medici is identified with Pallas in the frontispiece to Jean Dorat, Magnificentissimi spectaculi in Henrici Regis Poloniae gratulationem descriptio, Paris, 1573. For a discussion of the context of this last example, see Frances A. Yates, The Valois Tapestries, London, 1975, pp. 67-69, and pls. 24 and xb. For the association of Diane de Poitiers with Prudence and Minerva, see Francoise Bardon, Diane de Poitiers et le Mythe de Diane, Paris, 1963, pp. 82-83, 152.
(21) Victor E. Graham and W. McAllister Johnson, Estienne Jodelle' Le Recueil des inscriptions, 1558: A Literary and Iconographical Exegesis, Toronto, 1972, p. 166, where the text is given in translation.
(22) Chamard, op. cit., vol. v, p, 219.
(23) De Butter, op. cit., p. 141.
(24) Chamard, op. cit., vol. VI p. 100.
(25) See, for example, La Savoie par Jacques Peletier du Man& reprint of 1572 edition with a notice by Charles Pages, Moutiers-Tarentaise, 1897, p. 74, and Ceard, Menager and Simonin, op. cit., vol. II, p. 913.
(26) See Roger Peyre, Une Princesse de la Renaissance: Marguerite de France, Paris, 1902, pp. 93, no 4, and 94; a slight variant is illustrated in Pompeo Litta, Celebri Famiglie Italiane, 11 vols, Milan and Turin, 1819-99, vol. VI, no. 24; P. Pradel, Catalogue des Jetons des Princes et Princesses de la Maison de France (Bibliotheque Nationale), Paris, 1936, p 89, nos. 261 (illustrated), 262, 263; p. 90, no. 264 (illustrated); Samuel Guichenon, Histoire Genealogique de la Royale Maison de Savoye, 2 vols, Lyon, 1660, vol. I, p. 701. For discussion of a medal that may depict Marguerite de France as Minerva, see A. Baudi de Vesme, 'L'Arte alla Corte di Emanuele Filiberto e di Carlo Emanuele I nei primi anni del suo regno' (Manoscritti del conte Alessandro Baudi di Vesme riguardanti l'arte in Piemonte nella seconda meta del secolo XVI), Atti della Societa Piemontese di Archeologia e Belle Arti, vol. XI, fasc. 2, 1928, p. 221.
(27) See Francoise Joukovsky, 'Une commande de Marguerite de Savoie: la "Civitas veri" de Bartolomeo Delbene', in J. Balsamo (ed.), Melanges de Poetique et d'Histoire Litteraire du XVIe siecle offerts a Louis Terreaux, Paris, 1994, pp. 466-79, and Frances. A. Yates, The French Academies of the Sixteenth Century, London and New York, 1988, p. 15, plates 8 and 9, pp. 111-16.
(28) See Anne-Marie Lecoq, Francois let imaginaire, Paris 1987, Chapter 3, 'Le fils de dame Prudence', pp. 69-117, especially pp. 74-75, 112-15, and figs. 24, 36, 44 and 46, and eadem, 'Les images symboliques de Louise de Savoie dans ses manuscrits', in Ces manuscrits enlumines des comtes et dues de Savoie, Fondation Humbert II et Marie Jose de Savoie, Turin, 1990, pp. 130-35, especially pp. 132-33; as pointed out in eadem, op. cit. (1987), p. 127, Louise of Savoy's cousin and sister-in-law, Margaret of Austria, was represented as Pallas in Jean Lemaire de Beige, Les Illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troye, Paris, 1513.
(29) Charles Bene, 'Marguerite de France et l'oeuvre de Du Bellay', in Louis Terreaux (ed.), Culture et Pouvoir au Temps de l'Humanisme et de ta Renaissance: Acres du Congres Marguerite de Savoie (Annecy, Chambery and Turin 1974), Geneva and Paris, 1978, pp. 226 27, and Leon Seche, Oeuvres Completes de Joachim Du Bellay, 4 vols, Paris, 1903, vol. I, p. 319. Peyre, op. cit., p. 94, note 2, observes that according to Le Laboureur, Marguerite's favourite symbol, which she designed herself, was an olive branch with two snakes coiled round it and the motto 'Return sapientia custos'.
(30) Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, MS Fr. 13429, vol. II, fol. 5v, illustrated in Lecoq, op. cit. in n. 28 above (1987), fig. 97.
[FIGURE 97 OMITTED]
(31) For an illustration, see Henri Zerner, L'Art de la Renaissance en France, Paris, 1996, p. 79.
(32) F. Genin, Lettres de Marguerite d'Angouleme soeur de Francois I, Reine de Navarre, Paris, 1841, pp. 60, 140; Francois Hebert, Exposition morale de la fable des trois Deesses, Venus, Juno et Pallas, Lyon, 1545, p. 189. If the addressee of a verse dedicated to a member of the French court addressed as 'Virgo' in Melin de Saint-Gelais's 'Chanson des Astres' has been correctly identified as Marguerite de France in the guise of Minerva (Prosper Blanchemain [ed.], Oeuvres completes de Melin de Sainct-Gelays, 3 vols, Paris, 1873, vol. I, p. 122 and p. 125, note 8), it would be the earliest known identification of Marguerite with Minerva and would pre date Hebert's reference to her aunt.
(33) Chamard, op, cit., vol. IV, pp. ix and 156-63.
(34) Borel and de Sacey, op. cit., p. 194.
(35) H. Downley, 'French Portraits of Ladies as Minerva', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, January-June 1955, p. 263. Downley concludes that the globe refers to Marguerite's knowledge of the celestial as well as the earthly spheres and cites Caesare Ripa's Iconologia, where the sphere is described as one of the higher attributes of Intelligenza. An enamel by Leonard Limosin (Musee de l'Email, Limoges, no. 36), alter a print by Marcantonio Raimondi (Konrad Oberhuber [ed.], The Illustrated Bartsch: The works of Marcantonio Raimondi and his school, vol XXVII, formerly vol. XIV [Part 2], New York, 1978, p. 337 [no. 253]), representing Athena (Pallas) after Giulio Romano or Raphael, also shows Minerva standing on a globe.
(36) Dimier, op. cit., vol. II, p. 183. During a symposium held at the Wallace Collection on 11 October 2002, Fabienne Audebrand noted that even the earring shown in the drawing has been represented in the enamel. The tear duct depicted in the drawing also appears in the enamel.
(37) No. MN 22. Raoul de Broglie, 'Les Clouet de Chantilly: Catalogue Illustre', Gazette" des Beaux-Arts, January-June 1971, pp. 261-336, especially p. 323, no. 311, illustrated. See also Alexandra Zvereva, Les Clouet de Catherine de Medicis: Chefs-d'oeuvre graphiques du musee Conde, Paris, 2002, p 114.
(38) Mauro della Valle, 'Le Cod. Varia 84 de la Bibliotheque Royale de Turin', in Les manuscrits enlumines ... op. cit., pp. 171-76. The portraits in the prayer book, discussed below, are fols. 22 and 20r respectively.
(39) Cecile Scaillierez Francois ier et ses artistes dons les collections du Louvre, exh. cat., Musee du Louvre, Paris, 1.992, p. 110, no. 41, illustrated. For an association between Marguerite de France and St Margaret of Antioch by Ronsard see Ceard, Menager and Simonin, op. cit., vol. I, p. 611, and related note 2, on p. 1496.
(40) Della Valle, op. cit., p. 175.
(41) In both cases the sitter has been incorrectly identified as Marguerite de Navarre (d'Angouleme). The version with a white dress was in the Hans Wetzlar sale, Sotheby Mak Van Waay, Amsterdam, 9 June 1977; the version with the black dress was in the H. Clifford Smith collection and is illustrated in Connoisseur, vols. LXXV-LXXVI, December 1926, pp. 205, 258. An enamel attributed to Leonard Limosin could portray Marguerite de France, although the sitter has in the past been identified as Marguerite de Navarre, but it has been published most recently with the suggestion that the sitter might be Jeanne d'Albret (see Notin et al., op. cit., no. 61, illustrated). It is in a silver frame with engraved decoration on the back which includes an oak tree and two coats of arms, one of which is quartered with the arms of the della Rovere (Musee du Petit Palais, Paris, no. 0 Dut 1253 87 PPA 0794). This enamel, described there as a 'Portrait de Femme par Leonard Limosin', was published in La Collection Spitzer, 3 vols, Paris, 1890-91, vol. II, no. 74, illustrated; ironically, ibid., no. 73, Plate XI, was an enamel portrait identified as a 'Portrait de Marguerite de Savoie, fille de Francois I', which was signed and dated 'LL 1550'. I am grateful to Francoise Barbe for enabling me to examine the enamel now in the Petit Palais.
(42) Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Ms N.A.L., no. 82, fol. 100. See also Dana Bentley-Cranch, 'L'iconographie de Marguerite de Savoie (1523-1574)', in Terreaux (ed.), op. cit., p. 245, plate VII; Della Valle, op. cit., p. 174, where the author notes that curlier scholars attributed the illuminations in this manuscript to Jean and Francois Clouet and others; Zvereva, op. cit., p. 10.
(43) During a symposium held at the Wallace Collection on 11 October 2002, Fabienne Audebrand observed that the treatment of the white enamel on the surface of the plaque echoes the agitated handling represented in the corresponding areas of the print.
(44) See, for example, J.C. Robinson (ed.), Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works qt Art ... on loan at the South Kensington Museum, June 1862, exh. cat., South Kensington Museum, revised edition, 1863, pp 170, 173, 179, and La Collection Spitzer, op. cit. vol. II, nos, 139-43.
(45) Philippe Verdict, The Waiters Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Painted Enamels of the Renaissance, Baltimore, 1967, p. 305, concluded that enamels signed 'IDC', 'IC' and 'CI' came from the same workshop, and catalogued those signed 'IC' and 'IDC' as being by 'Jean de Court, Limoges (Master I. C.)' (ibid., p. XXV and nos. 169-77). Verdier identified Jean Court dit Vigier and Jean de Court as two enamellers, but confused the issue by erroneously referring to a group of eight plaques for a casket in the British Museum, one signed 'A LYMOGES PAR IEHAN COVRT DIT VIGIER 1555' (Fig. 3 here), as being from a casket made by Jean de Court in 1554 (ibid., p. 332; British Museum, no. 1855, 3 5, 2). Verdier had already addressed the Jean de Court problem in idem, 'A French Renaissance Enamel by the Master I.C', The Register of the Museum of Art, The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas, vol. i:, no. 3, December 1959, pp. 28 44. lie later revised his opinion concerning the Jean de Court who signed the Wallace Collection plaque, 'IC' and 'IDC' (idem, 'Limoges Enamels', in Edward J. Sullivan (ed.), The Taft Museum, Its History and Collections, 2 vols., New York, 1995, vol. II, p. 329). See also Madeleine Marcheix and R.J. Charleston, 'Limoges and other painted Enamels' in RJ. Charleston, Madeleine Marcheix and Michael Archer, The James A. De Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Glass and Enamels, Fribourg, 1977, p. 351, where the subject of the Wallace Collection enamel is incorrectly identified as Marguerite de Navarre, and Susan L. Caroselli, The Painted Enamels of Limoges: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1993, p. 156. Caroselli stated that pieces by Jean de Court, dated 1568, were known, but did not provide references.
(46) For example, 1555: British Museum, no. 1855, 3-5, 2; 1556: standing bowl and cover with the arms of Mary Queen of Scats in the Cabinet des Medailles, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, no. Y667 (Thierry Crepin-Leblond in Thierry Crepin-Leblond and Pierre Ennes, Le dressoir du Prince: Services d'apparat a la Renaissance, exh. cat, Musee National de la Renaissance, Chateau d'Ecouen, Paris, 1995, no. 51, illustrated; 1557: Baratte, op. cit. in n. 6 above, pp 318-19, R 304, illustrated; 1558: private collection, Paris, for which, see Auguste Dupont, Etude d'une peinture sur email faite par Jehan Court dit Vigier, a Lymoges, en 1558, et decouverte par M. le Comte Adrien de' Brimont, a Meslay-Le-Vidame, en 1874, Paris, 1875.
(47) Dimier, op. cit., vol. II, p. 183. See also David DuBon, 'A Spectacular Limoges Painted Enamel', Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. LXXVI, no. 329 (summer 1980), p. 5, and Irmgard Musch, Maleremails des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts aus Limoges, Braunschweig, 2002, p. 223.
(48) Baratte, op, cit. in n. 6 above, p. 317. Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above (1967), p. XXV, hinted at a workshop practice, but in idem, op. tit. in n. 45 above (1995), p. 329, he revised his earlier opinion that the Wallace Collection enameller, 'IC' and 'IDC' were one and the same, concluding that the Wallace Collection enamel was by a different Jean de Court to his namesake who signed 'IC' or 'IDC'.
(49) Sophie Baratte, 'Remarques sur les emaux peints de Limoges sous Henri iv', in Les Arts au Temps d'Henri IV: Volumes des actes du colloque, Fontainebleau, 1990, published in Pau, 1992, pp. 32-39, and figs. 4-7. Some enamels inscribed with the monogram 'IC' and a date appear to have been made prior to 1555. For a plaque inscribed 'IC', depicting Apollo and Marsyas and dated 1547, formerly in the Rosenfeld and Goldschmidt collection and lost by 1938, see Gyslaine Fare-Yver, Atelier Jehan Court Dit Vigier, ICDV-IC-IDC, these dactylographiee, soutenue a l'Ecole du Louvre le 9 janvier 1939, no. 329. The thesis is summarised in Positions des theses de l'Ecole du Louvre, 1911-1944; the typescript, without illustrations, is in the library of the Departement des objets d'art at the Louvre. For a ewer signed 'IC' and dated 1550, see DuBon, op. cit., pp. 5 and 17, no. 24. However, Barratte (op. cit. in n. 6 above, p. 328) has cautioned, 'Les objets signes IC et dates semblent faux', citing some examples, including a genuine piece with the date 1550 added later.
(50) Baratte, op. cit in n. 6 above, p. 317.
(51) J. Blanchon, Les Premieres oeuvres poetiques de Joachim Blanchon, Paris, 1583, pp. 301-304, 'Ode A M Doral Poete Du Roy'. I am grateful to Genevieve Guilleminot-Chretien for this reference. Jean Dorat, a poet from Limoges and a relative of the enameller Pierre Courteys, was an important influence on the Pleiade poets.
(52) Ibid., p. 301.
(53) Ibid., p. 303.
(54) Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above (1967), pp. XXV, XXVI. Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above (1995), vol. II, p. 329, still thought that the de Court mentioned in Blanchon's ode was probably both the court painter and the artist who created the Wallace Collection enamel; see also Caroselli, op. cit., pp. 156-57; Susanne Netzer, Maleremails aus Limoges: der Bestand des Berliner Kunstgewerbemuseums, Berlin, 1999, p. 56; Baratte, op. cit. in n. 6 above, p. 317.
(55) I am grateful to Michele Bimbenet-Privat for confirmation that Paris, Archives Nationales, E 23A, fol. 119 (formerly K 108, no. 109), referring to an incident involving 'Jean Court dit Vigier, maitre emailleur de Limoges, qui, revenant de Bordeaux le 3 juin 1609 ...', is still traceable. See also n. 56 and n. 59 below; Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above (1959), pp. 36 and 43, n. 21; idem, op. cit. in n 45 above (1967), pp. XXV and XXVI and Baratte, op. cit. in n. 49 above, pp. 32-39.
(56) For references in the Limoges archives concerning the various forms of the name de Court, see especially Archives de l'art Francais, vol. III, 1853-55, p. 380; vol. IV, 1855-56, pp. 401-402; Maurice Ardant, 'Jehan Courteys', Bulletin de la Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin, vol. X, 1860, pp. 147-48, 158; Maurice Ardant, 'Jean Court dit Vigier', Bulletin de la Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin, vol. XI, 1861, p. 5; L'Abbe Texier, Dictionnaire d'orfevrerie, de gravure et de ciselure chretiennes ou de la mist en oeuvre artistique des metaux, des emaux et des pierreries (Encyclopedie de Migne, vol. XXVII), Paris, 1857, columns 497-500, 515, 1147, 1150-51, 'Tableau des argentiers et emailleurs de Limoges; Louis Guibert, 'Catalogue des Artistes Limousins', Bulletin de la Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin, vol. LVIII, 1908, pp. 135, 192-93, 195, 196, 200. With reference to Ardant and Guibert, Baratte, op. cit. in n. 49 above, p. 31, points out the pitfalls of taking all the archival references at face value. See also Fare-Yver, op. cit., pp. 240-42. According to a non-verifiable document cited by Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, p. 104, note 4, Jean de Court is first mentioned in accounts in 1555, as painter to Charles Bourbon, Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, by which time he had apprentices. The information contained in this document was privately communicated to Dimier. Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above (1967), p. XXVI, states that de Court held this position in 1553, without giving a source; perhaps this was an erroneous reference to Dimier. The 'fichier Laborde' (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Departement des Manuscrits, vol. XLII, NAF 12079. Fiche 16679) contains a transcription of a document which, if accurate and genuine, would substantiate the relationship between Jean de Court and Charles de Bourbon, Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon. This transcription records an extract from the baptismal registers of the church of St-Germain l'Auxerrois, Paris, vol. no. 8. It records the baptism, on 9 June 1562, of Charles, 'fils de honorable homme, Jehan de Court, peintre de la Reine, et de Marguerite Enson'. The godfathers are named as 'noble homme Charles de Bourbon, prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, et noble homme Jacques de La Roche-sur-Yon, eveque de Langres'. One other transcription concerning Jean de Court is in the 'fichier Laborde' (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Departement des Manuscrits, vol. XLII, NAF 12079): Fiche 16678 is a transcription taken from register 57 of the church of St-Paul (no city or town is given; the present author has not been able to find evidence of a church of this name in Paris at this period). It states: 'Le mercredy 16 avril, convoy de Mr. De Court, paintre, au pavillon royal, 24 1, service ledit jor'. I am grateful to Monique Cohen for this information.
(57) For the Colinet catalogue, believed until recently to be a mid-sixteenth-century document concerning a family of glassmakers, and now thought to have been made in the second half of the nineteenth century, see Jutta-Annette Page, 'The 'Catalogue Colinet': A mid-16th-century Manuscript?' in Johan Veeckman (ed.), Majolica and Glass from Italy to Antwerp and Beyond, Antwerp, 2002, pp. 243-62. Concerning the likelihood that Urbani de Gheltof (1856 1907) invented numerous documents relating to majolica, see Timothy Wilson, 'A Victorian artist as ceramic-collector: The letters of Henry Wallis, Part 2', Journal of the History of Collections, vol. XIV, no. 2, 2002, pp. 280, 288-89, note 164. For an invented document concerning Bernard Palissy, see Robert-Henri Bautier and Genevieve Bresc-Bautier, 'Un faux du XIXe siecle: "Devys d'une grotte pour la Royne, mere du Roy" ', Revue de l'Art, no. 78, 1987, pp. 84-85.
(58) Paul Roudie, 'Contrat de Cartons de Tapisseries entre le peintre Jean Court, dit Vigier et Antoine Verdy, tapissier', Bulletin de la Societe de l'histoire de l'art francais, 1956, pp. 215-17. The document is in Bordeaux, Archives Departementales de la Gironde, 3 E 5644, fol. 485.
(59) Limoges, Archives de la Haute-Vienne, 1 H 32. This document was published in Paul Ducourtieux, 'Les environs de Limoges d'apres les plans des emailleurs', Bulletin de la Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin, vol. XXXIV, 1887, pp. 215-24. I am grateful to Robert Chanaud for this reference. Circumstantial evidence has led historians to suggest 1564 or 1589 as possible dates for the plan (see ibid., p. 218).
(60) Limoges, Archives de la Haute Vienne, 4 E 2/311. Louis Bourdery, 'Testament de Simeon Courteys. 21 septembre 1565', Bulletin de la Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin, vol. XLIII, 1895, pp. 694-97, especially p. 697. I am grateful to Robert Chanaud for this reference. Baratte, op. cit. in n. 49 above, pp. 31, 39, note 20, refers to further archival references at Limoges which suggest that the two names could be used interchangeably.
(61) See Crepin-Leblond and Ennes, op. cit. in n. 46 above, no. 51, illustrated.
(62) Monique Chatenet 'Une demeure royale au milieu du XVIe siecle: La distribution des espaces au chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye', Revue de l'Art, no. 81, 1988, pp. 20-30, has demonstrated in what close proximity the court could live.
(63) British Museum, no. 1855, 3-5, 2. I am grateful to Peter Kidd of the British Library for his advice, based on examining a slide detail of the inscription on the back of the Wallace Collection enamel, that the lettering, numbering and spelling are all absolutely 'right' for mid sixteenth-century French manuscripts. During a symposium held at the Wallace Collection on 11 October 2002, when these enamels were examined side by side, Beatrice Beillard observed that their counter-enamels are very similar indeed.
(64) The full reference to the document is in Jules Guiffrey, Artistes Parisiens du XVIe et du XVIIe siecles, Paris, 1865, p. 20. I am grateful to Michele Bimbenet-Privat for confirmation that the wording of this document (Paris, Archives Nationales, X3A 56) is as cited by Guiffrey: 'Jean De Court, peintre du Rot. 23 avril 1562. Sentence des Requites du Palais condamnant Rend Pin, tresorier a Paris, a payer par provision la somme de 147 ecus, montant d'une cedule en date du 23 janvier 1558, reclamee par Jean Decourt, peintre ordinaire de la Reine Marie, soeur de Charles IX'. Mme Bimbenet-Privet has pointed out that although Jean de Court is described in this document, dated 23 April 1562, as 'peintre du Roi', this may simply reveal him inflating his importance, but it does show that he was a supplier to the king's household at this date, and more specifically to Mary Stuart. Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, p. 104, cited documents showing that de Court was in Mary's employ in 1567 and 1573, citing A. Teulet, Relations Politiques de la France et de l'Espagne avec l'Ecosse au XVIe siecle, 5 vols, Paris, 1862. Dimier, op. cit., vol. b p. 105, note 4, also provides a reference to Andrew Lang, Portraits and Jewels of Mary Stuart, Glasgow, 1906, pp. 39-40, without noting that ibid., p. 40, mentions a document stating that Jean de Court was listed as Mary Stuart's painter and valet de chambre in Scotland in 1566, when he received wages of CC.XL (currency probably livres tournois). Lang refers to Mary Stuart's MS Etat, drawn up on 31 July 1573, which lists Jehan de Court as her valet de chambre on a wage of VIII.XX tournois (this document, in the Inner Temple Library, MS no. 41, doc. no. 90, reads 'Jehan de Court aux mi francs gags'). Lang, op. cit., pp. 40-41, further suggests that it is possible that Jean de Court did not go to Scotland with Mary Stuart, but nevertheless received a salary from her.
(65) Paris, Archives nationales, Epargne du Roy for 1572, KK. 133, fol. 2650, referring to payment to Jean de Court of 250 livres. This document was cited in A. Jal, Dictionnaire critique de Biographie et d'Histoire, Paris, 1872, p. 442, and I am grateful to Michele Bimbenet-Privat for confirming that the wording given in Jal is correct. Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 102, 105, note 1, cites a reference to de Court replacing Clouet in 1572 which differs in detail from this document. It is useful to note here that I am also grateful to Michele Bimbenet-Privat, who has confirmed that a document cited in Jal, op. cit., p. 442, 'Etat des offices de la Maison du rot en 1574', is indeed in Paris, Archives Nationales, KK 134, fol. 66, but that the payment to de Court is recorded as 240 livres, not 220 as given by Jal.
(66) The latest extant document referring to the artist that the present writer has been able to locate is Paris, Archives Nationales, document KK 139, fol. 34, in the "Etat des comptes de la Maison du roi en 1584'. Under the heading 'peintres et gens de mestier' for the period September-November 1585 it lists Jean de Court, with a pension of 80 ecus (one ecu was worth between two and three livres at this period). This document only proves that Jean de Court was paid as a pensioner in 1584; it does not establish conclusively that he was alive in 1585. It was normal for there to be a long delay before artists were paid. I am grateful to Michele Bimbenet-Privat for the above information. Compare Jal, op. cit., p. 442, re. KK 139. The latest archival reference to the artist cited in Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, p. 106, dated from 1585.
(67) See ibid., vol. II, pp. 177, 181, no. 753, and vol. I, p. 103 and Plate 33; vol. II, no. 738, now attributed to Jean Decourt and illustrated in Etienne Jollet, Jean et Francois Clouet, Paris, 1997, p. 248. Dimier, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 177-79, 180-81, 182 and 183.
(68) Ibid., vol. II, pp. 178 and 182. Jollet, op. rig p. 236.
(69) Ibid., p. 236, attributes both the drawing of Mary Stuart in the Bibliotheque Nationale and the drawing of Marguerite de France in the British Museum to Clouet, and illustrates them both. For further discussion of this subject and illustrations of two further versions of the drawing of Marguerite de France in mourning in the British Museum and the Musee Eugene Boudin, Honfleur, see Bentley-Cranch, op. cit., pp. 248-250, especially p. 254, notes 38-42 and Plates XII-XVI.
(70) Galleria Sabauda, Turin. It is illustrated in Joliet, op. cit., p. 71. I am grateful to Isabella Massabo Ricci for the information that no mention has been found of Francois Clouet or Jean de Court in the Turin state archives for the period 1559-60. For a copy in oils after Clouet's drawing of Mary Stuart in mourning see John Ingamells, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Pictures, 4 vols., 1989, vol. m, "French before 1815', pp. 127-29, no. P530.
(71) Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 106-107.
(72) Della Valle, op. cit., pp. 174-75. For the oil paintings, see n. 41 above.
(73) Baratte, op. tit. in n. 6 above, p. 361, inv. no. MR 2519.
(74) The plaque in Fig. 12 was in Gustave de Rothschild's collection in Paris in the 1870s, when it was lent to two exhibitions, Notice sommaire des objets d'art exposes au profit de la colonisation de l'Algerie par les Alsaciens-Lorrains, au Palais de la Presidence du Corps legislatif, le 23 avril 1874, exh. cat., Paris, 1874, room 8, case 7, and L'art ancien a l'exposition de 1878, exh. cit., Pads, 1879, no. EL.94. I am grateful to Alain-Charles Dionnet for sending me this information from the Papiers Marcheix (Musee Municipal de l'Eveche, Limoges, Centre de documentation, archives 2 E 6). The enamel in Fig. 12a, which may be the same object (it seems that Emile Lachenaud, who took the photograph in Fig. 12, sometimes touched up his photographs), was sold at auction in Paris on 13 December 1995 by Coututier-Nicolay at the Hotel Drouot, salle 5-6, lot 95. In the sale catalogue, the inscription is described as being in gold, the provenance given for the piece is 'Ancienne Collection James et Gustave de Rothschild', and there is a bibliographical reference to Exposition Universelle de' 1878, vol. II, fig. 311. It is interesting to note here that in the 19th century the Parisian firm Samson produced a marked version of the Minerva plaque as seen in Figs. 11-12a. I am very grateful to Veronique Notin for this information. The figure of Minerva on these plaques and a further, unsigned enamel depicting Minerva, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Inv. no. E14), has some features in common with a print of Minerva by Etienne Delaune (Robert-Dumesnil [A.P.F] ou RD, Le Peintre graveur francais ou catalogue raisonne des estampes gravees par les peintres et les dessinateurs de l'ecole francaise, 9 vols, Paris 1865, vol. IX, p. 56). The image is illustrated in the photographic archive of the musee municipal de l'Eveche, centre de documentation, Limoges. The plaque in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is closest to the print.
(75) See Baratte, op. cit. in n. 6 above, p. 317. Oval plaques at Waddesdon Manor are signed 'IC' or 'IDC' and painted with mythological figures (Charleston, Marcheix and Archer, op. cit., pp. 356-61). An oval plaque of Venus and Cupid signed 'IC' in the Waiters Art Gallery in Baltimore is very similar to a plaque in the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum which is signed 'IDC' (Verdier, op. cit. in n. 45 above , nos. 177 and WB 37 respectively). Ibid., no. 177, cites several examples of the use of this image of Venus and Cupid after a print by Etienne Delaune, including an oblong plaque signed 'IDC' in the Frick collection and a candlestick signed 'IC' (Verdier, op. cit. in n. 7 above, pp. 207-11, the detail illustrated on p. 210).
(76) Dimier, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 161-62, and vol. II, pp. 270-72. Idem, French Painting in the Sixteenth Century, London and New York, 1904, p. 238, wrote, 'The name of Jean Decourt is familiar to all amateurs of enamel. The pieces of this date, marked I. D. C. or I. C. are all ascribed to him'. However, Dimier, op. cit. in n. 10 above, vol. I, pp. 161-63 and pls 55, 56; vol. It, pp. 270-73, was not certain that the inscription 'IDC' on one of the drawings he assigned to an anonymous hand was the artist's monogram. The costumes depicted in the drawings seemed to suggest that they ranged in date from 1573-99, which was thought to exclude the possibility that they could be by Jean Decourt. Dimier did not refer here to the monogram 'IDC' being found on enamels.
Suzanne Higgott is Curator of Glass, Limoges Painted Enamels and Earthenwares at the Wallace Collection. Her publications include (as Suzanne Gaynor) 'French enamelled glass of the Renaissance', Journal of Glass Studies, vol. XXXIII, 1991, and, most recently, 'Sir Richard Wallace's Maiolica: Sources and Display', Journal of the History of Collections, vol. xv, no. 1, 2003.
Isabelle Biron obtained her doctorate in Physical Metallurgy from the Universite d'Orsay, Paris. Her publications include 'Ion bean analysis of Mosan enamels' (co-written with Sebastien Beauchoux), Measurement Science and Technology, no. 14, 2003.
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|Author:||Higgott, Suzanne; Biron, Isabelle|
|Article Type:||Critical Essay|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2004|
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