Limoges Enamels at the Frick Collection

D Giles Ltd

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Limoges enamels, named for the town in which they were produced, are one of the most distinctive art forms of the French Renaissance. This stunning handbook—the first book dedicated to Henry Clay Frick’s important collection of forty-six Limoges enamels—reflects the jewel-like character of the objects it describes. These colorful, luminous, often personal treasures—plaques, caskets, dishes, ewers—have long been of interest to connoisseurs. Henry Clay Frick purchased John Pierpont Morgan’s collection in totality in 1916, adding his name to a centuries-long list of illustrious collectors of the medium.

A fascinating and wide-ranging introduction by Ian Wardropper sets the scene. Entries for each object, illustrated with new photography, and a glossary of terms reveal the intricacies of the collection, which itself constitutes a comprehensive survey of painted enamels at an outstanding level of quality.


Ian Wardropper has been director of The Frick Collection since 2011. Previously, he was Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Eloise W. Martin Curator and Department Head, European Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Ancient Art, at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has written numerous books and articles and co-organized more than twenty exhibitions in his specialties of European sculpture, earlier decorative arts, and twentieth-century design and decorative arts, among them Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution (2009), and Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure for the Palaces of Europe (2008). In 2012, he received the prestigious Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France.

He has lectured widely and made a number of radio and TV appearances. Most recently, he gave a tour of the Frick to Mario Batali, for the chef’s series “The High Road”; appeared on Channel 13 to feature a sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon; and discussed the exhibition Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals at The Frick Collection on NY1.

Julia Day is associate conservator at The Frick Collection. In 2011, she completed the treatment of Houdon's life-sized painted terracotta sculpture Diana the Huntress in preparation for its installation in the new Portico Gallery. In 2012, she presented her work on The Frick Collection at two symposia: the French Bronze Symposium in Paris, and the ICOM-CC Enamel Group meeting in Barcelona, where she spoke about her treatment of Limoges painted enamels and the renovation of the Enamel Room's historic display cases.

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