New stage of development of painted enamel of Limoges in the nineteenth century Cover Image

Новий етап розвитку ліможської розписної емалі: ХІХ століття
New stage of development of painted enamel of Limoges in the nineteenth century

Author(s): Oksana Zhyltsova
Subject(s): Visual Arts, 19th Century, Sociology of Art
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: arts and crafts; Renaissance; hot enamel; painted enamel; collection; fake;

Summary/Abstract: This article reviews study and collecting of painted enamel of Limoges in the nineteenth century. It was second half of the nineteenth century that showed renewed interest in this rare technique. Overall, painted enamel is not studied enough as was indicated by both domestic and foreign researchers. Best collections of painted enamel are proudly presented by some of the largest and richest museums in the world: the Louvre, the Hermitage, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Painted enamel of Limoges has always been difficult and expensive technique popular far beyond France. Articles containing such work are considered valuable collector's pieces owned by known historical figures. As we know, Catherine de Medici ordered 39 oval panels for her palace Tyuilri and consumer portraits of Leonard Limozen were ordered by Henry II. Collectors of nineteenth century have readily exhibited works that belong to them at trade shows, social events, and often the formation and replenishment of collections also occurred due to such communication. It should be noted that "elite" collectors included also well-known philanthropist B.I. Khanenko. At the same time, we should notice opening of new shops for the production painted enamel of Limoges, so there is a considerable amount of styling and even imitations of old enamels. The vast majority of enamel articles of XIX century was made for needs of churches and monasteries. And also, very high quality fakes were made. The article presents examples of the production of works of the time, among which there are both styling and counterfeiting works XVI century. Artistic highly skilled Enamel works were made, including Louis Marcy (1865-1945) and his contemporary Simon-Emerique Pierrat. Louis Philippe Sevres factory set for the task: to find the secret of making painted Limoges enamels of XVI century. Francois Broniart was the director of Sevres manufactory from 1800 to 1847. He founded enamel on metal workshop in 1845 that worked to 1872. Of course, most of its products accounted for small works depicting allegorical scenes and grisaille or colored ornaments. Many enamel works have made it to head shops in Sevres Jakob Meyer-Heine. In the second half of XIX century, it was very popular to imitate art of the Renaissance. Among the painted enamel works of XIX century were styling and forgery. So, Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris kept the "Escape Jonah" plate by Jakob Meyer-Heine, dating from 1851 year. Also, as an example, we can mention the work of Jean-Baptiste Philippe's "Allegory of Justice". Or, in the castle Fontainebleau there is the "Penicault" enamel that features 4 elements – earth, fire, water, air. Apparently, this product has its own character which distinguishes it from the XVI century enamels. Production of painted enamels was running through most of XIX century. Mostly, it was grisaille . Such high artistic and technical levels of painted enamels of the nineteenth century leads to the fact that today it is often difficult to distinguish articles of XVI century masters or their imitators. Even in museums, there are still works remaining which cannot be dated, produced possibly during Renaissance or 300 years later. Also typical for painted enamel is unique technology of hot enamel: a study with special tools, such as microscope, does not always provide an answer on the status and quality enamel. So, the popularity of painted enamels in the nineteenth century led not only to the formation of collections, but, in fact, to its revival. This process had great impact on followed jewellery. Urgency of studying history of collections of painted enamel works and its revival in the XIX century is important for the dating of existing works and promotion of museum's collections from different countries.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 138-142
  • Page Count: 5
  • Language: Ukrainian