Mirror valve, chess set

RF004832

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The mirror valve of the Louvre's chess game offers a perfect quintessence of French court art around 1300.
The composition is centered here on the chessboard and the hands of three of the characters who designate the pieces. 

Reproduction in patinated resin.

Dimensions
Height: 12 cm.
Width: 11.5 cm.
Depth: 1 cm.
Period: First half of the 14th century
Museum: Museum: Paris - Louvre Museum
Material: Resin
Editor:rmngp

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The stage is located under a pavilion whose curtains are raised to let see the young man seated, legs crossed (symbol of power), holding with one hand the post which supports the pavilion and taking a chess piece with the other hand; in front of him, the young woman, who wears under her veil the horned headdress so criticized by the preachers, points to a piece of her finger and holds two pieces in her other hand, perhaps to cheat; behind her, her servant, who holds a crown ready, suggests a strategy to her.
Behind the young man, a valet holds a falcon on his fist. Four dragons confine the piece, the work is neat: the faces are small, the eyes are open, the drapes are supple.

The theme of the chess game is quite common on mirror valves, although the four character examples are rare. It is possible that this representation alludes to a scene from the novel by Huon de Bordeaux or rather that of Tristan and Yseult, if we compare it with an enamel from the treasure of Louis d' Anjou, described in 1379-1380, where Tristan and Yseult play chess under a pavilion.
But other mentions of the same inventory indicate representations of the chess game without identifying the actors: it can thus simply be a representation of a game practiced by the aristocracy where also the clients of the ivoriers were recruited.
In contrast to the game of dice, symbol of disordered and debauched love, it evokes courteous love, governed by precise rules; however, as the crown held by the servant (presence of the coronation of the Lover), it is by no means a symbol of platonic love.

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Mirror valve, chess set

The mirror valve of the Louvre's chess game offers a perfect quintessence of French court art around 1300.
The composition is centered here on the chessboard and the hands of three of the characters who designate the pieces. 

Reproduction in patinated resin.

Dimensions
Height: 12 cm.
Width: 11.5 cm.
Depth: 1 cm.
Period: First half of the 14th century
Museum: Museum: Paris - Louvre Museum
Material: Resin
Editor:rmngp

Write a review

 
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