b. about 1505 Limoges, France, d. about 1575 Limoges, France
Leonard Limosin was born in Limoges, which had been famous for its enamelers and goldsmiths since the Middle Ages. He may have learned the enameling craft in a local workshop. Encouraged by the Bishop of Limoges, Limosin produced painted enamels on copper in all forms, including plates and plaques with mythological and religious subjects, tableware, and jewelry boxes. His prolific workshop produced more than a thousand pieces between 1533 and 1574. Limosin also supplied many enameled plaques for Francis I's gallery at Fontainebleau, the largest collection of sixteenth-century French art. In 1548 he was appointed valet de chambre and Enameler to the King. Limosin was an exponent of the Fontainebleau style, begun by Italian painters working in France and characterized by elegance forms, attenuated figures, decorative strapwork, and surfaces intended to suggest jewels. Limosin often based his enamels on oil paintings, prints, and drawings. His most ambitious works are two enamel altarpieces representing the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, each more than a meter high, unusually large for enamels . Eight etchings by Limosin are known, along with easel paintings and miniature paintings. Limosin's profound influence on enamel work lasted through the 1600s.