Paul Prieur

Paul Prieur was a painter of miniatures and enameller. He was born in Paris and was trained there and in Geneva as a goldsmith and enameller. Between 1659 and 1681 he lived in Denmark, working for the Royal Court.

Most of his Royal portraits are very small, painted on gold and meant for the King to present as signs of honour. As a painter of enamel, Prieur was among the most influential in Europe and he was the earliest practitioner of this art form in Denmark. His strength was not the character sketch, because he was always painting from originals of others. But he possessed a unique technical skill and great knowledge about the colour, chemistry and the ideal baking of enamel.

What is characteristic for Prieur are the unusually strong and glossy colours, especially a light blue, which is often used as background for portraits. Two large enamel works of Frederik III and the King’s five oldest children, which are both kept at Rosenborg, are without equal in European art of the time.