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Plaque with the Symbol of the Evangelist Luke

Date:
ca. 1100
Geography:
Made in Conques, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Copper: cut and gilt; champlevé and cloisonné enamel: black, lapis and lavender blue, turquoise, green, red, white, pinkish white, semi-translucent wine red.
Dimensions:
Overall: 4 x 2 7/16 x 1/8in. (10.1 x 6.2 x 0.3cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Champlevé & Cloisonné
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.428
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
This plaque, part of an ensemble including four plaques with the symbols of the evangelists and a central roundel with the crucifixion, probably from a book cover, can be securely attributed to the celebrated pilgrimage abbey of Saint Foy at Conques, France's richest surviving repository of medieval goldsmith's work. Several of the rare works dispersed from the abbey's treasury in the nineteenth century share with others still in situ a technique, style, and palette uniquely combined during the abbacy of Bégon III in the late eleventh century. For these pieces the monk goldsmiths employed superimposed copper plaques, the lower one to receive the delicate cloisons that define features and drapery, the upper one cut to delineate the silhouettes of the figures and the cross. Hallmarks of the style include the single cloison used to define eyebrows and noses and the thin loop of gold that creates cowlicks. In the Metropolitan's reconstituted ensemble, the same remarkable oxblood color was used for the symbol of Saint Luke and the hair of the image of the Sun ("Sol") above the Crucifixion. Furthermore, scientific analysis has determined that common enamel compositions and the same metallic oxides were used to tint and opacify all five pieces.
Inscription: Inscription: LVCAS.
Hôtel Drouot, Paris (November 10, 1853, no. 120) (?); comte de Clermont-Gallerande(until 1864); his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris (April 18-20, 1864, no. 10, to Spitzer); Frédéric Spitzer (d. 1890), Paris (from 1864); Sigismond Bardac, Paris (in 1900); Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris)(before 1911); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913-1917)
Catalogue d'une collection d'objets d'art de curiosités, et de 25 bons tableaux en partie de l'Ecole Gothique, de Peintres Hollandais, Flamands et Allemands. Paris: Alexis Joseph Febvre, November 10-12, 1853. no. 120 (?), p. 17.

Catalogue d'une collection d'objets d'art et de curiosité...le tout composant le cabinet de feu M. le comte de Clermont. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, April 18-20, 1864. no. 10, p. 5.

Catalogue officiel illustré de l'exposition retrospective de l'art français des origines à 1800. Exposition universelle de 1900. Paris: Lemercier & Cie., 1900. no. 2410, p. 292.

Guibert, Louis. Les Vieux Émaux de Limoges à l'Exposition de 1900. Limoges: Veuve H. Ducourtieux, 1901. p. 16, (as no. 2410).

Pératé, André. Collections Georges Hoentschel: Émaux du XIIe au XVe siècle. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1911. no. 1–4, p. 4, fig. I.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 58.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 58.

Hildburgh, Walter L. Dr. Medieval Spanish Enamels and Their Relation to the Origin and the Development of Copper Champlevé Enamels of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. London: Oxford University Press, 1936. pp. 60-62, pl. XI.

Souchal, Geneviève. "Autour des plaques de Grandmont, une fammille d'émaux limousins champlevés de la fin du XIIe sècle." Bulletin Monumental 125 (1967). pp. 44-46, fig. 13.

Gauthier, Marie-Madeleine. Émaux du Moyen Âge Occidental. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1972. no. 33, pp. 73-75, 326, ill. p. 73.

Lasko, Peter. Ars Sacra, 800-1200. 1st ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972. p. 308, n.18.

Souchal, Geneviève. "A propos d'un lion champlevé limousin: la survivance d'un thème sassanide." Gesta 15, nos. 1 and 2 (1976). pp. 285-292, fig. 7.

Gauthier, Marie-Madeleine. Émaux Méridionaux: Catalogue International de l'Oeuvre de Limoges; L'Époque Romane. Corpus des émaux méridionaux, Vol. I. Paris: Éditions du centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1987. no. 32, p. 56, pl. XII, ill. 82.

Lasko, Peter. Ars Sacra, 800-1200. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994. p. 303, n.19, n. 23.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. L'Oeuvre de Limoges: Emaux limousins du Moyen Age. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1995. no. 6, pp. 76-77.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, ed. Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996. no. 6, pp. 76-77.

Boehm, Barbara Drake. "'Magníficamente Trabajado y Excelente': el Gusto por la Obra de Limoges en la Europa Medieval." In De Limoges a Silos, edited by Joaquín Yarza Luaces. Madrid: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior, 2001. p. 28.

Luaces, Joaquín Yarza, ed. De Limoges a Silos. Madrid: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior, 2001. no. 3-6, pp. 58-60.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth. "Los Inicios de los Esmaltes en Aquitania." In De Limoges a Silos, edited by Joaquín Yarza Luaces. Madrid: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior, 2001. p. 40.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle, ed. La France romane au temps des premiers Capétiens (987-1152). Paris: Musée du Louvre Éditions, 2005. no. 285, p. 374.

Gustafson, Eleanor H. "Museum Accessions." Magazine Antiques 172, no. 4 (October 2007). p. 30.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. pp. 24-25, fig. 35.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 185.



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