triptych, enamel on copper; the center panel holds images of the Madonna and Chld, St. John the Divine, St. Louis and Louise de Bourbon, an Abbess of Fontevrault; the left and right panels each contain an image of a prophet; inscriptions accompany each figure; at the bottom center of central panel is a white plaque, also bearing an inscription and coat of arms

Triptych with the Madonna and Child, saints, and prophets, 1538

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This scene depicting the Virgin Mary, her infant son Jesus Christ, and various saints and prophets also includes the kneeling figure of Louise de Bourbon, a member of the French royal family. During the mid-1500s, she was the abbess, or head nun, of Fontevrault, an important religious foundation with a long history of royal patronage.

Enameled objects like this one were highly prized for the great artistry and technical skill required to make them. Enameling involves painting a metal surface with powdered glass, which is then fused to the metal by heating. Inserting gold or silver foil between layers of enamel, as was done here, makes the colors more luminous. The town of Limoges, in southwestern France, where this triptych was made, has been an important center of enamel production since the 1100s.

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Reymond, Triptych with Madonna and Child, Saints and Prophets (#877)
Details
Title
Triptych with the Madonna and Child, saints, and prophets
Artist Life
French, c. 1513–1584
Role
Artist
Accession Number
88.53
Curator Approved

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triptych, enamel on copper; the center panel holds images of the Madonna and Chld, St. John the Divine, St. Louis and Louise de Bourbon, an Abbess of Fontevrault; the left and right panels each contain an image of a prophet; inscriptions accompany each figure; at the bottom center of central panel is a white plaque, also bearing an inscription and coat of arms