Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque with Saint William of Bourges

ca. 1218–25
Made in Limoges, France
Copper: engraved and gilt: champlevé enamel: dark blue, turquoise, medium green, yellow, red, and white
Overall: 8 1/16 x 6 7/8 x 1/16 in. (20.4 x 17.4 x 0.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
Early in his career, and well before he became archbishop in 1205, William of Bourges was a hermit-monk at the abbey at Grandmont, near Limoges. It is fitting, therefore, that this plaque honoring him was created in the enamel technique for which Limoges was renowned.
Inscription: Inscription: S[ANCTUS] GUILELM[US]; on the reverse: [1758]: EGO P.[etrus] LE LIEVRE CLERICUS / - UEUS JOANNIS E. R. GAS / SELIN FILIUS CO[G]NATOS / ORO NE HUNC PANCEUM AB AN / NIS PLUS CENTUM IN DOMO NOSTRA / SERVATUM AD ALIOS NOBIS ET NOMINE / ET SANG[UINE] / NISI JUNCTOS RELINQUA[NT]. (I, Pierre Lelièvre, priest, son of Gasselin, ask my relatives not to give up this panel [?], which has been preserved in our house for more than a hundred years, except to persons who are allied to us by name and blood).
Father Pierre Lelièvre, priest of the parish church of Bû(Eure-et-Loir), France (by 1758 - d. 1770); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "L'Oeuvre de Limoges," October 23, 1995–January 22, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350," January 22, 1996–June 16, 1996.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 32, 58, fig. 30, ill. p. 56.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 32, 58, fig. 30, ill. p. 56.

Ross, Marvin Chauncey. "Note sur un émail limousin de Saint Guillaume de Dongéon." Notes d'art et d'archeologie (1932). pp. 36-9.

Gauthier, Marie-Madeleine. "Reflects de la spiritualité grandmontaine et sources de l'histoire médiéale au miroir des émaux méridionaux." In L'Ordre de Grandmont, art et histoire: Actes des Journées d'Études de Montpellier 7 et 8 octobre 1989, edited by Jean Nougaret. 1992. pp. 100-1, fig. 3.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. L'Oeuvre de Limoges: Emaux limousins du Moyen Age. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1995. no. 103, pp. 310-312.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, ed. Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996. no. 102, pp. 310–12.

Related Objects

Tabernacle of Cherves

Date: ca. 1220–1230 Medium: Copper (plaques): engraved, scraped, stippled, and gilt; (appliqués): repoussé, chased, engraved, scraped, and gilt; champlevé enamel: medium blue, turquoise, medium green, yellow, red, and white, modern wood mount Accession: 17.190.735 On view in:Gallery 304

Chasse of Champagnat

Date: ca. 1150 Medium: Copper: engraved and gilt; champlevé enamel: blue-black, medium blue, turquoise, green, red, and white Accession: 17.190.685–87, .695, .710–.711 On view in:Gallery 304

Chasse with the Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty

Date: ca. 1180–90 Medium: Copper: engraved, chiseled, stippled, and gilt; champlevé enamel: dark, medium, and light blue; turquoise, dark and light green, yellow, red, and white; wood core, painted red on exterior Accession: 17.190.514 On view in:Gallery 304

Plaque with Saint John the Evangelist

Date: ca. 1175–1200 Medium: Copper (plaque): engraved and gilt; Champlevé enamel Accession: 17.190.770 On view in:Gallery 304

Central Plaque of a Cross

Date: ca. 1185–95 Medium: Copper: engraved, stippled, gilt; champlevé enamel: dark and light blue, translucent dark and opaque medium green, yellow, translucent and opaque red, rose, and white Accession: 17.190.409a On view in:Gallery 304