Johann Heinrich von Hurter "Swiss" 1734-1799 Exquisite Enamel Panel Raphael Madonna. The back of the plaque is inscribed Madone Raphael Peint d' apres Tabl: Orig de la Collec Duc d Orleans Auguste Catherine II Empress of all the Russias. It is also signed and dated par Hurter a Paris 1787. English translation The Madonna of Raphael, painted after the original from the collection of the Duke of Orleans for her August Majesty Catherine II, Empress of all the Russias by Hurter in Paris 1787. This is an exquisite miniature enamel of Raphael's Madonna. It is set in a gilt bronze decorative frame. The enamel panel measures 5-3/8 inches high by 4-1/2 inches wide. I believe this to be this artist's finest and largest enamel painting painted approximately 12 years before his death when he was at the peak of his artistic talent. I researched Johann Heinrich von Hurter in the Artnet database and found a much smaller portrait of a young gentlemen in a black jacket and cloak also an enamel on copper miniature measuring 2.8 inches high by 2.8 inches wide sold at Christie's December 7, 2004 Lot #00119 for $88,369. Another miniature enamel on copper dated 1768 only 1.4 inches high sold at Christie's London December 7, 2004 Lot #00110 sold for $60,463. Another miniature enamel on copper of a young lady measuring 2.2 inches high signed and dated 1783 sold at Christie's London April 11, 2002 Lot #00769 sold for $43,868. This exquisite enamel is the largest and certainly the finest quality enamel on copper known by this artist. Johann Heinrich von Hurter was born in Schaffhausen Switzerland in 1734. He died in Dusseldorf in 1799. He was a miniaturist and enamelist. In the 1770's he painted in Paris and published a curious Prosepctus d' un plan de souscription pour une execution en email d' un nouveau genre which he had printed in The Hague and distributed to wealthly connoisseurs. Hurter then spent 5 years in London from 1777. There he was taken up by Lord Dartrey, and copied the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1779 he exhibited 3 pastels, as well as 2 enamels from an address in Covent Garden. Two further pastels, dated 1781 and 1786, are known, but otherwise his work is in enamel miniatures. Between 1785 and 1787 he traveled to Schaffausen, Karlsruhe, The Hague and Paris before returning to London; he returned to spend time in both London and Germany. He received a major commission from Catherine II of Russia in 1787. His inscription on the back of this enamel indicates it was a commission from Catherine the second in 1787. The Von Hurter family belonged to Swiss nobility. He was a court painter for the Queen in England in the 18th century. An enamel miniature by this most important 18th century painter and enamalist is in the collection of Queen Elizabeth, the royal trust in England. The condition of this unique, large and beautiful enamel painting and frame is superb. Please click to enlarge the artist's description of the painting, his signature and date on the back of the enamel. I hope that a museum curator will see this listing and acquire this 18th century enamel treasure to share with the world on exhibit at their museum. Certainly no finer or larger example of this artist's work exist.