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Pax (baiser de paix); also known as Pax of Marshal Boucicaut (Front)

Pax (baiser de paix); also known as Pax of Marshal Boucicaut (Front)
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Portovenere (La Spezia), Parish Church of San Lorenzo


Glass (probably originally rock crystal);amethysts;sapphires (?);rubies or garnets;pearl;silver;ivory

Height: 77 mm
Width: 48 mm

Crucifixion with thieves; Virgin supported by saint John the Evangelist; saint Mary Magdalene embracing the foot of the cross; pope thrusting a spear into Christ's wound; papal tiara; Longinus kneeling in prayer; Stephaton giving Christ vinegar; sun; moon; male figure kneeling in donor position (Jean Le Meingre, Lord of Boucicaut, see Provenance) with sword; fleur-de-lis.

Fabriano 2006 (Di Fabio): ivory, Paris, 1405-1408, frame, Genoa, c. 1408.
Milan 2015 (Di Fabio): ivory, Paris, 1408, frame, Genoa, c. 1408.


Polychromy - Gilding
Extensive gilding and polychromy (tempera): blue (background; clothes), gold (stars, highlights, hair, haloes, crosses, patterns), black (clothes), red (blood).

Handle decorated with a vine leaf.

Object Condition
Missing: two pearls.

See C. di Fabio 1996 and 2003 for identification of the donor with Marshal Boucicaut.
The iconographic oddity of the pope thrusting a spear into Christ's wound expresses Marshal Boucicaut's political views. 'In 1404 he favored the proclamation of the Antipope Benedict XIII who, in subsequent years stayed at Genoa with his retinue and in 1408 spent some months at Portovenere. This pax might have been used in this very period, perhaps during Holy Week 1408.' (Fabriano 2006). More recently, Di Fabio has suggested that the pope could represent both popes, including the antipope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) (see Milan 2015).

Made for Jean Le Meingre, Lord of Boucicaut and Marshal of France, Governor of Genoa from 1401 to 1409 (depicted kneeling to the right and fleur-de-lys on the frame).

C. Di Fabio, 'La pace di San Lorenzo di Portovenere, il maresciallo di Boucicaut e Pedro de Luna', in Estratto da Studi Oreficeria, Supplemento al N. 95 del Bollettino d'Arte del Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali (1996), pp. 137-148, fig. 1.
C. Di Fabio, 'Pace del Maresciallo di Boucicaut', in I gusti collezionistici di Lionello d'Este. Gioielli e smalti en ronde-bosse a corte, dir. by F. Trevisani, exhibition catalogue, Modena, Galleria Estense, 20 December 2002-16 March 2003, pp. 181-184.
C. Di Fabio,'Nous prenons plaisir en choses estranges. Genova francese e il sire di Boucicaut', in Genova e la Francia. Opere, artisti, committenti, collezionisti, ed. by P. Boccardo, C. Di Fabio and P. Sénéchal (Milan, 2003), pp. 61-75.
Gentile da Fabriano and the Other Renaissance, ed. by L. Laureati and L. Mochi Onori, exhibition catalogue, Fabriano, Spedale di Santa Maria del Buon Gesù, 21 April-23 July 2006, no. I.15 (Di Fabio).
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), p. 458, fig. 1, in relation to no. 157.
Arte Lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza. Milano al centro dell'Europa, exhibition catalogue, Milan, Palazzo Reale, 12 March - 28 June 2015, p. 165, no. II.24.


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