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Medallion, probably Margaret of Lorraine (recto); the Virgin Seated on a Throne Before Two Widows (verso)

A work made of painted enamel on copper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of painted enamel on copper.


c. 1530–c. 1540


Attributed to Léonard Limosin (French, c. 1505–c. 1577)

About this artwork

Widowhood was an uncertain social state in the sixteenth century; it could be either liberating or severely restrictive. For these women, adopting the lifestyle of a nun and living in a convent was a common occurrence. This medallion with a portrait of a noble widow, perhaps Saint Margaret of Lorraine, was used by such courtly widows as an aid to meditation and spiritual support.

The back side of the medallion depicts a heavenly vision with two widows praying the rosary before the Virgin and Child. The Latin inscription along the rim is the opening to their prayer asking the Virgin to intercede to God on their behalf. The painter’s delicate handling of color and perspective seems to acknowledge the spiritual nature of the subject.


On View, Gallery 238


Applied Arts of Europe


Léonard Limosin


Medallion, probably Margaret of Lorraine (recto); the Virgin Seated on a Throne Before Two Widows (verso)


Limoges (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Painted enamel on copper


Diam.: 8.8 cm (3 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Helmuth Bartsch and Neville and John H. Bryan endowment funds

Reference Number


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