As it begins a year-long celebration of its 20th Anniversary, the renowned Paris gallery, Les Enluminures, (www.lesenluminures.com) will participate for the very first time in the “XXVII Biennale Internazionale dell’Antiquariato de Firenze” at the Palazzo Corsini, from October 1 to October 9, 2011.
Sandra Hindman, the owner of the gallery, says, “We travel all over to participate at important international art fairs; New York for the Winter Antiques Show, the Netherlands for TEFAF in Maastricht, Great Britain for Masterpiece London, and France for the Salon du Dessin – all to make ourselves as accessible as possible to both our private clients and the many esteemed curators, library and museum patrons and officials, who attend these important events.”
“We are thrilled to be going to Florence this year, because we have a great many Italian clients and much Italian art, so we are pleased to be meeting our clients at home, as it were, and to meet new Italian clients. Florence presents an excellent opportunity to re-discover the Italian art market. Important and attractive medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, miniatures, works of art, and rings will be displayed at the fair.”
As to the highlights at the Les Enluminures stand, Hindman says, “Italian visitors will be able to admire, for example, a wonderful miniature by Maestro BF representing Benedictine Nuns and St. Scholastica, a beautiful St. George and the Dragon painting by an artist associate of the Master of the Arcimboldi Missal, and an exceptional Gothic ring inscribed in Latin “My Name is John” (translation).
“Perhaps the most exciting artwork we are showing in Florence,” Hindman adds, “is an exceptional ‘Gradual’ - an illuminated manuscript in Latin on parchment with five miniatures depicting the Monks with portrait-like precision singing from a Choir book in an Olivetan foundation. Placed on a lectern in front of a choir in a chapel or monastery, this large manuscript enabled all the singers to sing from a single manuscript.”
“Many single leave and cuttings by the noted Lombard illuminator, the Olivetan Master (died 1449) are known but this is only one of two manuscripts to have survived. This Gradual (Use of the Olivetan Benedictines) has it original binding, metal hardware and leather decoration of the Olivetan monastery where the manuscript was made and used.”
“The Olivetan Master takes his conventional name from a signed miniature illustrating the Communion of the Apostles in Venice. His style is close to that of the Master of the Vitae Imperatorum with whom he has been often confused. In the last half century an accepted corpus of works has been gathered that defines his style and offers greater enlightenment on his career.“
Hindman says, “The Lombardy miniature by Maestro B.F. comes from a manuscript that must have been commissioned by the Benedictines. Saints Benedict and Scholastica, whose names appear on plaques hanging from branches of the trees present a group of Benedictine nuns, the latter kneeling with hands clasped in prayer, to the Christ Child. The baby Jesus holds a cross and a long scroll, admonishing the nuns to follow his example: Tollite jugum meum super vos (et discite a me, quia mitis sum, et humilis corde) et invenietis requiem animabus vestries. The entire phrase from Matthew 11:29 translates, “Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls.”
“The Master B.F. is a widely documented Lombard painter and illuminator from the last decade of the 15th century until the mid-16th century. His name derives from the monogram with which he signed some of this works. Recognizable features of his High Renaissance style, which owes a debt both to the great Leonardo da Vinci and to the Lombard illuminator Cristiforo de Predis, include the ringlets of blond hair, the bluish green grass and feathery trees, and the golden orange for the drapery.”
“The painting “St George and the Dragon”, in an initial “P” cut to shape is from Italy, Mantua or Brescia c1495. It is by an Associate of the Master of the Arcimboldi Missal. The initial “P” (Protexisti, the introit for the feast of St George April 23) depicts the half-length standing figure of Saint George with his Dragon, and is well known since it first appeared in the Kann Collection in Paris in 1907. The initial was then part of a group of 19 cut-out initials mounted onto three folios. In 1907 Mrs Collis Huntington acquired eight of these initials, of which six were later in the Norton Simon Foundation and the seventh went to the Virginia Museum of Art in Richmond, An eighth initial, St John the Baptist, is now in a Private Collection in the USA.”
“The gold and carnelian 13th century Ring we are bringing to Florence is a Gothic Signet Ring composed of a round hoop widening at the shoulders with a prominent oval bezel display. The perimeter of the bezel is engraved in Lombardic letters encircled on either side by fine cabling, IOH (ANN) ES EST NOMEN EIUS or “John is his name.” The center of the bezel is set with a classical intaglio of a Roman man portrayed in profile (an emperor?) carved in a deep red carnelian.”
LES ENLUMINURES opened its doors in the Louvre des Antiquaires in Paris in September 1991, which is directly opposite The Louvre Museum.
Les Enluminures specializes in Medieval illuminated manuscripts, including Books of Hours, text manuscripts, illuminated manuscript leaves and cuttings, works of art, and Medieval and Renaissance rings.
Dr. Sandra Hindman is Professor Emerita at Northwestern University, where she twice headed the Art History Department. A specialist in Gothic and Northern Renaissance Art, it was her years spent studying Medieval manuscripts that sparked her interest in acquiring key pieces, which led to her opening her Paris gallery. In the early years she maintained her academic career, shuttling back and forth between Paris and Chicago.
Within Europe the Musée du Louvre, the Musée Nationale du Moyen Age, the British Library, the Bibliothèques municipales at Metz and Rennes, among others, are all clients.
IF YOU GO
LES ENLUMINURES exhibits for the first time at the
XXVII BIENNALE INTERNAZIONALE DELL’ANTIQUARIATO DE FIRENZE
October 1 – 9 Preview September 30
Palazzo Corsini, Firenze (www.biennaleantiquariato.it)
Le Louvre des Antiquaires,
2 Place du Palais-Royal, 75001 Paris (France)