The Wallace Collection

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Jean Petitot
  • Place of Birth: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Place of Death: Vevey, Switzerland
Biography
Works of Art

The greatest enamellist of the 17th century, born in Geneva. He worked in England for the Court of Charles I from 1637 and left for France after the outbreak of Civil War, either in 1643 or 1644. There he was extensively patronised by Louis XIV and his Court for over forty years. He was a devout protestant, and after the Revocation if the Edict of Nantes in 1685 he fled to Geneva, where he arrived in 1687. He died at Vevey.

He perfected the art of enamelling through his own research and the scientific advice of Sir Theodore Turquet de Mayerne. His enamels were made of small plates of golf, silver or, sometimes, copper. In a great number of works he collaborated with his brother-in-law, Jacques Bordier, who is said to have painted the costume and background while Petitot painted the heads.