Paintings on Stone

The Minions of Henri III, School of Fontainebleau, Possibly Lucas de Heere, 1570

Since neolithic times mankind has painted on stone. The advent of canvas as a medium is a relatively much more modern innovation. The Saint Louis Art Museum’s new show, Painting on Stone, Science and the Sacred, 1530-1800, opened yesterday to museum members and tomorrow to the general public. This art show was fifteen to twenty years in the making and draws works from dozens of other art institutions. It is surely one of best special shows to debut here in Saint Louis in recent memory. The pictured painting is the show’s signature artwork that adorns advertising for this exhibition. It portrays three men, who were all gay lovers of the French king Henri III. He called them and they’re many like his “minions”. These three were all murdered in 1578. Henri grieved for them greatly at their bedsides. In 1589 Henri was also murdered. This painting was created on slate, the most commonly used type of stone. Along with slate, marble was also a popular medium, along with more exotic choices of stone, like jasper, obsidian and agate. These pictorial stones bring unexpected nuances and interpretations to the subjects portrayed.

2 thoughts on “Paintings on Stone

  1. Nice painting. It inspired me to look into the death’s of the “mignons” during Henry II’s reign. Wow! According to Wki they were killed in a “battle re-enactment” in front of the king, their lover. Wow! I gotta check other sources cause this is the strangest cause of death I have ever heard. Definite contender for the Darwin Awards.

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