The Crowning of Christ with Thorns
workshop of Nardon Penicaud, maker, Haute Vienne, Limoges
Penicaud, Nardon, maker, possibly, Limoges enameller, 1470-1542/43
Pénicaud, Jean I, maker, possibly, French artist, op.1510-1540
The composition of this Flagellation is almost similar to the right wing of a triptych in the Museo Sacro in the Vatican which lacks the shield bearing the sacred trigram at the top, and has instead one angel with outstretched wings in the spandrel instead of two flying above. The iconography was probably derived from a German engraving or woodcut of the late 15th century. The Christ and kneeling figure on the left, and the shaped edge of the dais are reminiscent of the Crowning with Thorns in a series of twelve illustrating the Passion of Christ by Martin Schongauer (c.1440/53-91), but the other figures and the architectural setting are completely different.
Leonard D. Cunliffe
Limoges painted enamels; category
circa 1520 1530
first quarter of 16th century
Copper, decorated with polychrome enamels, jewelling over foils, and gilding. Christ, enthroned and crowned with thorns, is mocked by four tormenters. Above the architectural background a pair of putti hold up a shield bearing the initials IHS
Rectangular almost flat copper plaque, painted in black over a white enamel ground, and covered with translucent blue, turquoise, green, mulberry, and tan enamels, and opaque red, white, and black enamels, jewelling over foils, and gilding. Christ is seated on a tan-coloured throne in the centre. He holds a sceptre in his right hand which is crossed over his left on his lap, and wears a dark mulberry gown, and a green crown of thorns from which scarlet blood trickles down his forehead and neck. He is flanked by two men who are pushing the crown down on his head with rods, and another stands behind him bowing his head, and pressing the crown down with his hands. The man on the right has a blue hose, a turquoise tunic, and a blue cap with a jewelled border. The one on the left has green hose, a grey cap, and a brown armour with three jewelled medallions on the elbows and breastplate, and a blue mail shirt, visible below his waist. The one above has a blue hat and a green tunic with two jewelled buttons or brooches. In the left forground another man kneels, having doffed his hat in mocking subserviance, and rests his right hand on Christ's right arm. He has green hose, a blue tunic with a red jewel on its back, and a turquoise hat with a jewelled edge. In the foreground there is a green tiled floor with a red spot and four white dots in each lozenge-shaped tile. Behind the figures there is a black drape scatered with gold circles with a curved band of jewelling at the top, dividing them from the architectural setting of two jewelled arches rising from a central capital. In the spandrel of the arch there is a green mask below a blue shield inscribed IHS in gold, held up by two putti who lie horizontally above the arches. Remnants of lavish gilding are visible on the throne, costumes, and arches. The gilt-metal frame has eighteen rosette-headed rivets at intervals, and is set into a display frame covered in worn red velvet. Its back is covered in red damask and has a hinged damask-covered prop in the middle.
enamel; decoration; translucent blue, turquoise, green, mulberry, and tan enamels, and opaque red, white, and black enamels
rectangular almost flat copper plaque, painted in black over a white enamel ground, and covered with translucent blue, turquoise, green, mulberry, and tan enamels, and opaque red, white, and black enamels, jewelling over foils, and gilding.
height, inner frame, 30.7, cm
width, inner frame, 14.2, cm
height, outer frame, 34, cm
width, outer frame, 17.5, cm
bequeathed; 1937; Cunliffe, Leonard D.
Sir Francis Cook Bart. (1817-1901); Humphrey Wyndham Cook; sold Christie’s, 7-10 July 1925, Catalogue of an important collection of objects of art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the property of Humphrey W. Cook, Esq., and removed from 8 Cadogan Square, S.W., being a portion of the celebrated collection formed by the late Sir Francis Cook, Bart., day 1, second part of lot 205 (with M.8-1938)
A photograph of this plaque and M.8-1938 without their frames is in the Ceramic Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and they were illustrated without in the Cooke Collection sale catalogue.
L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937
inscription; on front on shield; painted in gold; IHS; abbreviation for Jesus Christ in Greek
Christie's. 1925. Catalogue of an important collection of objects of art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the property of Humphrey W. Cook, Esq., and removed from 8 Cadogan Square, S.W., ... collection ... of the late Sir Francis Cook, Bart., 7-10 July 1925.London: p. 47
Publ. 2nd Day, 8 July, p. 47, second part of lot 205, described as framed but illustrated unframed with M.8-1938
Marquet de Vasselot, J.J.. 1921. Les émaux limousins de la fin du XVe siècle et de la première partie du XVIe; étude sur Nardon Penicaud et ses contemporains.Paris: p. 129
Cf. p. 129, no. 108, illustrated pl. XXXVI, a comparable plaque forming part of a triptych in the Museo Cristiano in the Vatican, Rome, described as a late work of the workshop of Nardon Penicaud.
Stohlman, F.. 1939. Gli smalti del Museo Sacro Vaticano.Vatican City: p. 50
Cf. p. 50, S 111, and pl., a comparable plaque forming part of a triptych (the same one described by Marquet de Vasselot)
M.8-1938; The Flagellation
Object Number: M.9-1938
(record id: 139849; input: 2007-08-31; modified: 2012-10-24)