Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Combat between Dares and Entellus (Aeneid, Book V)

Artist:
Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40)
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Culture:
French, Limoges
Medium:
Painted enamel on copper, partly gilded
Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (22.5 x 20 cm)
Classification:
Enamels
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1945
Accession Number:
45.60.30
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544
European of the Renaissance period viewed ancient Rome not only as the origin of Italian civilzation but also the geographic center of a lost golden age. This plaque belongs to a series of at least eighty Limoges enamels illustrating events from Virgil’s Aeneid. The Latin epic poem tells the story of the legendary hero Aeneas, who escaped the sack and burning of Troy by the Greeks and, after wandering for some time, settled in Italy, where his descendants founded Rome.

The scenes are not, however, the product of the enameler's imagination; rather, they are close copies of the woodcut illustrations for the edition of the Latin poet’s Opera printed by Johann Grüninger in Strasbourg in 1502. The same woodcuts were used again for the edition published in Lyon in 1517. The anonymous painter of the enamels may have used either the Strasbourg of the Lyon edition as his model, but the enamels are somewhat later than either edition. Because of changes made at an early point in the series in the technique employed for counterenameling the plaques (enameling the reverse side), it seems likely that most of them were painted after about 1530 or 1533.
Inscription: On banners above heads: [1] ACESTES; [2] ENTELIUS; [3] DARES; [4] ENEAS; [5] ASTANIS; [6] ACHATES
Hollingworth Magniac , London (until 1892; sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, July 2–4, 1892, no. 528); Jules Porgès , Paris ; Jules S. Bache (until 1945; to MMA)
Related Objects

Aeneas Erects a Tomb to his Nurse, Caieta, and Flees the Country of Circe (Aeneid, Book VII)

Artist: Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40) Date: probably ca. 1530–35 Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt Accession: 88.3.85 On view in:Gallery 544

Aeneas Builds a Fleet Near Antandrus, at the Foot of Mount Ida (Aeneid, Book III)

Artist: Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40) Date: ca. 1530–35 Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt Accession: 25.39.2 On view in:Gallery 544

The Trojans Defend Their City; They Kill Androgeos (Aeneid, Book II)

Artist: Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40) Date: ca. 1530–35 Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt Accession: 25.39.1 On view in:Gallery 544

Aeneas Departs from Carthage (Aeneid, Book IV)

Artist: Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40) Date: ca. 1530–35 Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt Accession: 25.39.4 On view in:Gallery 544

The Fleet of Aeneas Arrives in Sight of Italy (Aeneid, Book III)

Artist: Master of the Aeneid (active ca. 1530–40) Date: ca. 1530–35 Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt Accession: 25.40.2 On view in:Gallery 544