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Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693
Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693 - Religious Antiques Style Louis XIV Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693 - Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693 - Louis XIV
Ref : 93071
15 000 €   -   SALE PENDING
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Noël II Laudin
Provenance :
France
Medium :
Painted enamel on copper
Dimensions :
l. 5.31 inch X H. 7.09 inch
Religious Antiques  - Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693 17th century - Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693 Louis XIV - Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693
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Noël II Laudin - The rape of Lucretia, painted enamel, Limoges, 1693

In France, the 16th century marked the revival of the Limoges workshops, specialized since the 12th century in enamelling, with the development of the technique of painted enamel [... ] If the most fervent representatives of this complex technique were active during the Renaissance, the 17th century was not to be outdone and brooded some famous dynasties of enamellers such as the Nouailher or the Laudin, whose meticulous achievements with original compositions and with shimmering acid colors have nothing to envy to those of their illustrious predecessors. This superb enamel plaque representing the rape of Lucretia by Sextus Tarquin is the perfect example of it.
Reported by the Latin historian Tite-Live, this episode marks the end of the kingship in Rome and the establishment of the Republic in 506 BC. Here, Sextus Tarquin, son of the king of Rome Tarquin the Superb, throws himself on Lucretia, this virtuous woman from the Roman nobility, wife of Tarquin Collatin, close and strong man of the king of Rome. Naked, threatened by the dagger that the man brandishes against her chest, she tries to repel her assailant. Her diaphanous skin and her long blond hair, her half-open mouth and her slender fingers, translate the sensuality of Lucretia and her renowned beauty for which Sextus conceived a violent and guilty desire. [...] After the departure of Sextus Tarquin, Lucretia call her father, her husband and other Roman nobles. After explaining the prince's crime to them and asking for revenge, she kills herself before their eyes. It is this drama which leads to the uprising of the people against the royal family and puts an end to Roman royalty.
Thus, by choosing not to survive dishonor, the character of Lucretia is considered through the centuries as an exemplum virtutis, a person whose acts, summoning morality and politics, are worth emulating. The strength of the founding myth of Lucretia rests on the analogy of two destinies: that of the virtuous Roman woman and that of the City, both undermined by tyranny. This constitutes Lucretia as a true allegorical figure of Rome, whose overthrow on our enamel prefigures that of the political regime then in place.
Rich in symbolism, this composition was transposed onto our copper plate after a masterpiece by the great Neapolitan master Luca Giordano (1634-1705). Discovered on the art market in 2014, this oil on canvas made between 1663 and 1664, today flagship of a private collection, is inspired, in its dynamics confrontation of bodies, of the famous version of this episode painted by Titian in the 1570s. By adapting it to his more acidic chromatic range, our enameller here takes again feature for feature the composition of Giordano and its tight framing, tinting this serious subject of a sensuality and an erotic ambiguity to hardly concealed. Rising to the dexter of the composition, only the figure of the slave constitutes an addition to the original version, borrowed by the author of our plaque from another canvas by the Neapolitan master illustrating the theme, today kept at the Capodimonte museum. The fine, firm and precise contours of our enamel painting, its refinement and its chromatic subtlety as well as the ambitious iconographic references that it summons and synthesizes, allow us to attribute it to one of the most skilful members of the Laudin dynasty, from his second generation: Noël II (1657-1727), calls "the young". This hypothesis is confirmed by the signature and the dating affixed in gold letters on the reverse of the plaque: N. Laudin, enameller in Limoges 1693. Within the abundant production of Laudins during the 17th and 18th centuries, our enamel is distinguished by its exceptional originality and, a rare occurrence, is presented as a unique piece in a group of work mainly fueled by the infinite variations resulting from serial production.

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Religious Antiques