Saint Paul, Saint Phillip, and Saint James Major from a series of the Apostles
Pierre Reymond (1513 - 1584)
French, Limoges, 1541, monogrammed: PR and dated: 1541, partially gilt painted enamel on copper, in gilt copper frames, 13.7 by 13.7 cm.
Saint Phillip and Saint James
Edmé-Unité Jacquot-Préaux, Paris, until 1849;
his sale, Hôtel des ventes mobilières Rue des Jeuneurs, Bonnefons de Lavialle, Paris, 9-11 January 1850, lot 237;
René Soret, Paris, until 1863;
his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Delbergue-Cormont, Paris, 4-9 May 1863, lot 146;
private collection, France;
anonymous sale, Hôtel Drouot, Couturier et Nicolay, Paris, 9 December 1992, lot 59;
private collection, Paris, until 2023.
private collection, Portugal, until 2021.
This rare set of three plaques of the apostles Saint Paul, Saint Phillip and Saint James Major is among the earliest dated works by one of the greatest and most productive enamellers of sixteenth-century Limoges, Pierre Reymond. They retain their refined gilding and display several of the virtuoso enamelling and design techniques Reymond employed throughout his career, including his daring work with light and shade using few colours and white enamelled applied in varying thicknesses. With their subtle colour palette the present enamels connect the colourful works Reymond produced in the late 1530s, such as his Bon Berger and Bon Pastor series, with the grisaille tableware he is most famous for today. The three plaques, which have been recently reunited after having spent at least 175 years apart, were once part of a series of twelve apostles which adorned an elaborate piece of church decoration, which may well have been one of Reymond’s first major commissions. Only one other plaque from these series seems to be known: a Saint Bartholomew in the formerly in the SPitzer collection. An example of how such plaques were mounted is recorded in a drawing of an altar in the now-lost church of Santa Maria della Celestia in Venice, which had an antependium adorned with many enamels of saints and sybils, and included a set of ten apostles which was made around 1540 by Pierre Reymond’s rival Leonard Limousin that recently appeared on the art market.