Lonard Limosin (also Limousin), French enameller, etcher, painter and miniature painter, the most accomplished member of one of the best-known families of enamellers working in Limoges during the 16th century. He was the best-known enameller of Renaissance France and may have learnt that trade in the Pcinaud workshop in Limoges. Encouraged by the Bishop of Limoges, Jean de Langeac, who probably put him in touch with the court of Francis I, Limosin produced painted enamels on copper in all forms, including plates and plaques with mythological and religious subjects, tableware and caskets. His chief speciality was the interpretation in enamels of portrait drawings by artists of the school of Jean and Franois Clouet, such as that of Anne de Montmorency
His early works were influenced by German Renaissance art; in fact, his earliest authenticated work (1532) is a series of 18 enamel plaques of the Passion of the Lord, after a series of prints by the German artist Albrecht Drer.
This Germanic influence was later counterbalanced by that of Francesco Primaticcio,
Rosso Fiorentino, Giulio Romano,
and Antonio Solario, Italian Mannerist painters who worked for Francis I in the mid-16th century on decorating the royal chteau of Fontainebleau.
In 1530 Limosin entered the service of Francis I as painter and valet de chambre, a position he retained under Henry II. For both monarchs he produced many finely characterized portraits in enamel, among them enamel plaques depicting Henry s mistress Diane de Poitiers in various poses and characters. He executed many plates, vases, ewers, and cups, as well as decorative paintings.
Although Limosin is best known for his richly coloured enamels, as well as his use of grisaille enamel (monochromatic enamel painting to give the illusion of sculpture), he was also an accomplished oil painter who acquired a great reputation in his day. His last signed works bear the date 1574. The most renowned of Limosin s 2,000 enamels that are not portraits are two votive tablets
with 23 plaques each that he made in 1553 for the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.