Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a Churchman

Artist:
E. Jean Saillant (French, active by 1620–died in or after 1638)
Date:
1628
Medium:
Vellum stretched over copper
Dimensions:
Octagonal, 6 1/8 x 4 3/4 in. (157 x 122 mm)
Classification:
Miniatures
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
59.72.1
Not on view
E. Jean Saillant was born in Avignon. He joined an Augustinian order and was in Rome and Florence between 1620 and 1633, with the name of Saliano. Between May 3, 1633, and May 4, 1638, he wrote six letters from Avignon to the Roman patron of the arts Cassiano del Pozzo (1588–1657), from whom he had received several commissions while living in Rome (Giovanni Bottari and Stefano Ticozzi, Raccolta di Lettere . . . , vol. 1 [1822], pp. 361–71). Saillant died in Avignon in or after 1638. This work and the other in the Museum's collection (59.72.2) provide the main evidence of his activity as a miniature painter.

The sitter wears the blue ribbon and badge of the Order of the Saint-Esprit. The portrait is set in a feigned gilt octagonal frame that has elaborate partially gilt strapwork decoration and swags of colored fruit and flowers.

[2015; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
The painted surface is in excellent state. The side of the copper sheeting over which the vellum is stretched is fire-gilded. The narrow molding which had previously framed the miniature was removed because the rabbet covered the signature and date. A ragboard bezel and backing and a new convex cover glass were supplied.

[2015; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed: (top edge, in brown) Aetatis Sua. 25o. / Anno Dni 1628.; (bottom edge, in brown) Roma / E. I. Salianus. f. 16[28?]
[Colnaghi, London]; Aimé Martinet, Geneva (by 1956–59; sold to MMA)
Geneva. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. "Chefs-d'œuvre de la miniature et de la gouache," June 23–August 15, 1956, no. 387 (lent anonymously).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 11.

Leo R. Schidlof. The Miniature in Europe in the 16th, 17th, 18, and 19th Centuries. Graz, Austria, 1964, vol. 2, pp. 710, 1036; vol. 4, pl. 507, fig. 1039, mentions it with MMA 59.72.2 as "representing church dignitaries".

Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, pp. 12, 74, no. 11, colorpl. 11 and ill. p. 74.



Related Objects

Portrait of a Man

Artist: E. Jean Saillant (French, active by 1620–died in or after 1638) Date: ca. 1628 Medium: Vellum stretched over wood Accession: 59.72.2 On view in:Not on view

The Rebuke of Adam and Eve

Artist: Charles Joseph Natoire (French, Nîmes 1700–1777 Castel Gandolfo) Date: 1740 Medium: Oil on copper Accession: 1987.279 On view in:Gallery 616

The Golden Age

Artist: Joachim Wtewael (Netherlandish, Utrecht 1566–1638 Utrecht) Date: 1605 Medium: Oil on copper Accession: 1993.333 On view in:Gallery 631

The Trojan Women Setting Fire to Their Fleet

Artist: Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée) (French, Chamagne 1604/5?–1682 Rome) Date: ca. 1643 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 55.119 On view in:Gallery 618