Les Enluminures (www.lesenluminures.com) owner Sandra Hindman is bringing several important and rare examples of Medieval and Renaissance art to the 2012 Winter Antiques Show in New York January 20 -29, that she says “Will be of particular interest to those fascinated with the history of early illuminated works.”
Among the most sought-after artworks, she says, is a Dutch Book of Hours, “The Host in the Monstrance” which is “A highly personalized example that based on many unusual textual and pictorial features we know was owned by a nun named Ermgart for use in Amersfoort in the late 15th century.”
“In Middle Dutch and Latin, this illuminated Manuscript has particular charm as six full page miniatures on inserted singletons in rectangular gold compartments were illustrated by Antonis Rogiersz of Broec, Utrecht, an innovative illuminator who was much influenced by early print-making and employed models by the Master of the Berlin Prayerbook for his striking border decoration, Stout figures in horror vacui settings and extensive use of burnished gold leaf, often with applied tooling, are other characteristics of his progressive style.”
“The illuminator was previously known as the Master of Boston City of God – named after one of his finest manuscripts, a copy of St Augustine’s Civitas Dei, now in the Boston Public Library. Antonis is mentioned many times in the Archives of Utrecht as a member of a prosperous family that lived and worked in Utrecht for generations; he died between Easter 1468 and Easter 1469.”
“Antonis uses a distinctive, articulated style with stout figures placed in dense compositions from which they emerge n a horror vacuii. His vivid palette includes a characteristic reddish-orange hue and an abundant amount of burnished gold, often ornamented with blind tooling of filets and little circles in geometrical patterns. His oeuvre comprises about twenty-five manuscripts, largely Dutch Book of Hours. He was the first illuminator in the Northern Netherlands to make use of prints as models for his miniatures as well as for his border decoration.”
A second prized work on offer at The Winter Antiques Show is a Renaissance Diamond Ring dating to Flanders c1600-1650 in a raised square box set with a large pointed octohedral diamond, cusped with double crescents, arcaded sides and engraved volutes and a flower.
Hindman says, “The octahedral diamond is the earliest form in which diamond appear in rings and other jewelry as the technology for cleaving or grinding the octahedral was not invented until the 14th century. Called “adamas” or “unconquerable” the diamond became associated with love, betrothal and marriage in the 15th century. When she became betrothed to the Archduke Maximilian, Mary of Burgundy instructed him that ‘your Grace must have a ring set with a diamond and also a gold ring.’ This type of bezel set above the hoop on a cushion-like base was popular for gemstones rings and is found as late as the early 17th century.”
A third standout on the Les Enluminures stand at The Winter Antiques Show will be an illuminated initial “Monks Singing” that Hindman says, “Is no doubt the work of the acclaimed Bolognese artist Nicolo di Giacomo.”
“This initial belongs to the later work of the artist; a dating borne out by comparison of this miniature with some of his mature works including Lucan’s Pharsalia dated 1373. The singularity of his style is matched by the leading role he played in Bolognese book illustration. The c1375-1400 initial is closely related to another work by the artist probably from the same Choir Book and illustrating ‘The Last Supper.’”
“Nicolo di Giacomo’s oeuvre was first compiled from many signed and dated works by Paolo d’Ancona. Later Pasut and Medica added considerable details. The illustrations in codices documented between 1373 and 1401 show the graphic realism and expressiveness which were the hallmarks of the artist from the outset. The division of the initial into two registers is similar to that in the Choir Book of the Carthusians Abbey of Santa Spirito in Lucca but here the musicians, also Carthusian monks, are more expressive, their gestures more exaggerated, their plasticity accentuated. They fill the foreground space leaving little visible background, as they manipulate various musical instruments, a bell, a psaltery, a viola, and a keyboard. Some appear to be portraits.”
Another highlight of the Les Enluminures exhibition is a c1325 Historical and Cosmological Anthology from England, probably London, in Latin, Middle English, Anglo-Norman and Gascon French that features 15 miniatures, depicting the kings of England by five artists, with additions from 1340s, 1380 and other dates.
“This fascinating and important anonymous illuminated compendium of historical and cosmological texts incorporates a previously unknown example of Middle English rhyming verse, as well as contemporary portraits of Kings Edward III and Richard II, and a remarkable School Scene, the whole a compelling record of medieval textual transmission, an a treatise on the use of Hindu-Arabic numerals for calculation, later owned by one of the leading mathematicians of the 16th century.”
“The majority of the volume was written, doubtless in London, between c1325 and c1345 by someone with a particular interest in England’s rights to French territories, and with access to parliamentary proceedings, perhaps an aristocratic member of the royal administration. In three main sections with many later additions, the Middle English verse charter is a fascinating document that purports to have been written between 927 and 939 but in fact is a forgery of which this is the earliest known copy.”
Now beginning its third decade in business, LES ENLUMINURES, with a gallery in Paris opposite the Louvre and offices in Chicago, is well known to collectors, curators and librarians from its participation in the most important international art fairs. The year begins in January at New York’s Winter Antiques Show, then in March to the Netherlands for TEFAF in Maastricht, in June to Great Britain for Masterpiece London, in October to the Firenze Biennale as well as several other fairs including the Salon du Dessin and New York Antiquarian Book Fair.
Les Enluminures maintains an extremely active year round schedule of publishing comprehensive catalogues and staging special exhibitions at its own galleries and others in cities where it chooses to exhibit. Its web site is a portal to four separate subject areas focusing on the artworks it sells with innovative ‘turn the page’ and video techniques employed to make it as easy as possible for visitors to learn about the subjects featured. Dr Hindman and her academically-grounded colleagues as well as guest scholars provide significant background knowledge on each subject contributing what she says “Is important additional information to the understanding of each work of art and subject in which we specialize.”
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.
“The Winter Antiques Show in New York always presents a unique opportunity to show newly acquired examples of important and rare medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, miniatures, works of art, and rings to museums, library officials and private clients who attend this esteemed exhibition.”
IF YOU GO
LES ENLUMINURES at the 2012 WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW in New York
October 20 – 29
Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street
Daily 12pm – 8pm Sunday and Thursday 12pm – 6pm
Les Louvre des Antiquaires,
2 Place du Palais-Royal, 75001 Paris (France)
Tel: +33 1 42 60 15 58 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lesenluminures.com