Etienne Delaune Pierre Reymond
Etienne Delaune, French, March Plate, ca. 1560, “Grisaille” enamel on copper, gilt; 18.4 cm (7 1/4 inches) (diameter), Gift of Franklin Robinson in honor of the Fine Arts Committee and the Museum Staff 1989.085
This plate is inscribed Martius, Latin for the month of March, and has the zodiac sign for Aries at the top of the rim. Showing vintners pruning back grapevines, a late winter-early spring agricultural task, the plate is from a series based on allegorical engravings by Étienne Delaune that depicts the labors of each month. Enamel artist Pierre Reymond executed his painted scene and decorative strapwork in grisaille (gray tones) enamel and enlivened it with flesh tones and gilding. In the mid-1500s, grisaille was a popular technique on products from Limoges, the center of French fine enameling from medieval times. There, artists engaged in enameling were members of several family dynasties, including Reymond’s. Craft traditions and artistic styles were passed in secret through the generations.