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Style Napoleon III / Ref.14667

Paul SOYER, Pair of Enameled Portraits, late 19th century

Width: 22''   56cm
Height: 27'' ⅛  69cm

France, 19th century

Good condition

This pair of enameled female portraits was executed by Paul Soyer in the late 19th century.

Paul Soyer (1832-1903) worked as a chaser in Paris from the 1850s. Gradually, he learned the technique of enamel to replace ornamental bronzes in furniture decoration. He opened a workshop as an engraver-enameller in 1861 and then collaborated with renowned enamelers and goldsmiths, such as Claudius Popelin, whose pupil he was, Charles Duron and Gustave Baugrand. It was as a collaborator of the latter that he won his first bronze medal at the 1867 Universal Exposition. Following this success, he opened a larger workshop and specialized in various enamel techniques, with a preference for painted enamel. He participated in all the French and foreign Universal Expositions, as well as the Expositions of the Union Centrale des Beaux Arts appliqués à l'Industrie. Regularly rewarded, notably with a gold medal in 1878, he was hors concours and a jury member from 1889, the year he received the Legion of Honor.

His production, very varied, includes both small decorations for jewelry and true enamel paintings, as well as enameled art objects for goldsmithing and plaques intended for cabinetry. A follower of Popelin, he remained faithful to the art of the Renaissance and the early 17th century, particularly fond of the technique of polychrome enamels associated with grisaille, and that of gold camaieu.

Very popular in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the use of enamel experienced a revival in the 19th century. These particular pieces are distinguished by the combination of grisaille and gold camaieu techniques inherited from Claudius Popelin.

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