Included with the Virgin and Christ child and saints and prophets is the kneeling figure of Louise de Bourbon (1495-1545). A member of the French royal family, she was the abbess of Fontevrault, an important religious foundation with a long history of royal patronage.
Enameled objects such as this were highly prized for the great artistry and technical skill required to make them. Enameling involves painting a metal surface with powdered glass, which is then fused to the metal by heating. Inserting gold or silver foil between layers of enamel, as was done here, makes the colors more luminous. The town of Limoges, in southwestern France, where this triptych was made, has been an important center of enamel production since the 12th century.
Acquired in 1988 88.53