François de Clèves, Duke of Nevers, Limoges, France, mid-16th century, Léonard Limosin (about 1506–1575/7), painted enamel and gilt on copper.
François de Clèves (French, 1516–1562), commanding the German infantry in the service of King Henry II of France, rescued the French army at the 1557 battle of Saint-Quentin.
Limosin stands apart among Limoges artists: he was an engraver, painter, and premier enameler. His painting skills are evident in this highly finished portrait. The shadings in the flesh tones, achieved by brushing light glazes over hardened white enamel, and lively ermine trim are masterfully executed. The frame is a 19th-century adaptation of originals found on Limosin’s other portraits. It features copies of grisaille enamel plaques, masks, and coats of arms.