Joan of Arc, 1400s French heroine extraordinaire, she is often depicted similarly, or astride a huge and powerful horse. She is legend. And possibly never presented more beautifully than you see her here, worked on a large convex copper plate. This enamelist has worked from the original painting by Charles-Amable Lenoir (22 October 1860 – 1926) was a French painter. Like his mentor, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, he was an academic painter, and painted realistic portraits as well as mythological and religious scenes. His artistic career was so prestigious that he won the Prix de Rome twice and was awarded the Légion d'honneur. His Belle Epoch pastel portrait of Joan, the Maiden (as she called herself) is a most popular work of art and, in other forms, has been copied commercially. I can find no other examples of an enamel, however, and to my eye, this enamel rendition of Lenoir's pastel art far exceeds the original.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. Her frame is original, you see how it is made from the back, corners. The plaque is very large and surprisingly free of damage since kiln-fired enamels are rather fragile - like porcelain melted onto metal, which is what it is. I can see in bottom right corner, a small grouping of fine hairlines, perhaps 1" at longest. From that one spot of 'bumped', a tiny piece has been lost. It tucks mostly under the edge of frame, but I wanted to point it out to you. Other than that - amazingly pristine. You know how I love kiln-fired French enamels, though you might not know how I respect the artists, artisans who could truly master this most arduous fine art. I've tried it - I can see that it would take decades as a hardworking apprentice to finally become a Master. This very large Belle Epoch (c.1890-1915) plaque is a favorite from my collection. Found in Germany, The plaque is immense by typical standards - in her original wood frame, 14 1/2" tall and 10 3/4" wide. I do not find a signature, and the notation on back seems to be a collection designation. I purchased 3 from a collector who spent a lifetime collecting Limoges enamels. This is 1 of those. I will be listing the other 2 today, also. Watch for those and our other fine enamels, all sold separately.
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