The Madonna del Prato, Blois School, circa 1670, after Raphael.

Rectangular enamel, with canted corners, 8cm, set within a filigree mount and rectangular stained wood frame.

This exquisite miniature was part of an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire to her only daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter. Known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, it includes: ‘A picture of our Lady our Saviour and St. John the Inner fframe Gold the Outer fframe black Ebony by petito.

It seems that, at the time of the Schedule, the miniature was believed to be by Petitot. The Swiss enamelist (1607-1691), was then considered to be the finest exponent of the art; his long career spent almost entirely at the courts of England and France. Known as the Elder, he trained his son, Petitot the Younger (1653-1702), whose work became indistinguishable from that of his father.
Blois was a great centre for the art of enameling.


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