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Portrait of a Benedictine Abbot
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Portrait of a Benedictine Abbot


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The rectangular plaque shows the bust-length portrait, three-quarters face to the left, of a tonsured monk with small moustache and full chin-beard. He wears the black habit of the Benedictine order. The background is bright blue with a white line border. The enamel framework is of octagonal shape, the upper part suggesting the mask of a dragon, its wings entwined with drapery; on the lower edge, between the mitre and crozier of an abbot, a coat of arms: argent, a mount of ten peaks, in chief three billets or, one and two. In the spandrels, gilt foliage with flowers in blue, purple and green, over paillettes of foil.
Conservation

The plaque has not been on view for many years, if ever, and is being included in Living by the Book: Monks, Nuns, and Their Manuscripts, a focus show scheduled for July 13-September 15, 2013. The plaque has damages around the perimeter edge but the central image is intact and in good condition.

Recent cleaning and stabilization revealed the maker's initials IL for Jacques Laudin on the front of the plaque to the right of the coat of arms. The decoration of the miter was also altered. Cleaning revealed a white miter with three clusters of imitation gemstones.

Date Description Narrative
3/06/2013ExaminationExamined for exhibition
3/08/2013TreatmentCleaned; stabilized; loss compensation
Exhibitions
  • Living by the Book: Monks, Nuns, and Their Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1908, by purchase [in New York]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] Lower center edge, near coat of arms on the front: ·I·L·; [Inscription] Faint letters on the back: [La]udin, emailleur / au faubour / de Magnine; [Translation] Laudin, enameler in the suburb of Magnine (in Limoges); [Inscription] in black letters on the back: Limoges
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1908

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Period
c. 1650
Medium
painted enamel on copper, spandrels over silver paillons
(Enamels)
Accession Number
44.165
Measurements
H: 8 x W: 6 5/8 in. (20.3 x 16.8 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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