Crown of Thorns

French (Limoges)
16th century
Attributed to Pierre Reymond (about 1513-after 1584)

Object Place: Europe, France


Framed: 26.4 x 21 x 2.5 cm (10 3/8 x 8 1/4 x 1 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal, enamel

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)





Enamel painting—a specialty among artists in Limoges, France—enlivens these scenes from Christ’s passion. The process begins with ingredients similar to those used in glassmaking, which are combined with pigments, fired into enamels, and then ground up, thinned with water, and painted onto copper. A second firing fuses the colors to the metal. Praised by Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years in France, the medium allowed brilliant, jewel-like colors to endure where other pigments would fade.


Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., New York; sold by Arnold Seligmann, Rey to William Randolph Hearst (b. 1863 - d. 1951), New York; March 25, 1941, Hearst sale, Gimbel Bros., New York, lot 331-1, to Elizabeth Day McCormick (b. 1873 - d. 1957), Chicago; 1948, gift of Elizabeth Day McCormick to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1948)

Credit Line

The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection