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Dish

Dish

  • Place of origin:

    Urbino (probably, made)
    Turin (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    about 1565 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fontana, Orazio (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in colours

  • Museum number:

    8-1864

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 28, shelf 1

Cardinal d'Avalos was son of Alfonso, Marquis of Pescara (d. 1546) and his wife Maria d'Aragona, of the Dukes of Montalto; He was made Cardinal in 1561 and died in 1600. This dish probably formed part of an extensive set of matching table-wares, made for Cardinal d'Avalos. Another dish with the same arms was lent to the South Kensington Museum (now V&A) in 1862.

The typical decoration of this dish, composed of small loosely connected motifs including human figures, animals and fantasy figures is called 'Grotesque'. It was first introduced by the painter Raphael in his decoration of the Vatican Palace in Rome (1518-19). It was derived from ancient Roman decorations from the Golden House of the emperor Nero (ruled 54-68 AD) on the Esquiline hill in Rome, which came to light during this period.
During the second half of the 16th century, the potters of Urbino specialised in a refined style of decoration incorporating elaborate grotesques on a white ground.

Physical description

Round dish with large well, decorated with a central medallion depicting the meeting of Abraham and Melchizedec painted on a pale yellow ground. This is surrounded by grotesque ornament painted on a white ground incorporating smaller medallions. The reverse is elaborately decorated with a central medallion depicting God appearing to Noah, surrounded by similar ornament surmounted by the the arms of Cardinal d'Avalos. The details of the arms have mostly been erased.

Place of Origin

Urbino (probably, made)
Turin (possibly, made)

Date

about 1565 (made)

Artist/maker

Fontana, Orazio (made)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in colours

Marks and inscriptions

the arms of Cardinal Inigo d'Avalos e Aquino (Quarterly 1,4, Avalos quartering Sanseverino and Aquino; 2,3, Aragon quartering Hungary, Sicily and Jerusalem)
Painted on the back; most of this has been forcibly effaced.
Cardinal Inigo d'Avalos e Aquino, was son of Alfonso, Marquis of Pescara (d. 1546), and his wife Maria d'Aragona, of the dukes of Montalto; He was made Cardinal in 1561 and died in 1600.

Dimensions

Diameter: 45 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mr. Samuel Pratt

Historical context note

Cardinal d'Avalos was son of Alfonso, Marquis of Pescara (d. 1546) and his wife Maria d'Aragona, of the Dukes of Montalto; He was made Cardinal in 1561 and died in 1600. This dish probably formed part of an extensive set of matching table-wares, made for Cardinal Inigo. Another dish with the same arms was lent to the South Kensington Museum (now V&A) in 1862 and is now in a private collection.

The typical decoration of this dish, composed of small loosely connected motifs including human figures, animals and fantasy figures is called 'Grotesque'. It was first introduced by the painter Raphael in his decoration of the Vatican Palace in Rome (1518-19). It was derived from ancient Roman decorations from the Golden House of the emperor Nero (ruled 54-68 AD) on the Esquiline hill in Rome, which came to light during this period.
During the second half of the 16th century, the potters of Urbino specialised in a refined style of decoration incorporating elaborate grotesques on a white ground. Their main pictorial source of inspiration were the etchings by Jacques Androuet I Ducerceau, which were published in 1550, and again in 1562 under the name 'Petites Grotesques'.

Descriptive line

Large maiolica dish with painted grotesque decorations and medallions with biblical scenes and the arms of Cardinal Inigo d'Avalos on the back; made in Urbino or Turin, probably by Orazio Fontana, 1560-1565

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rackham, Bernard, Italian Maiolica, London (Faber & Faber), 1952. Pl.76A.
Spallanzani M., 'Maioliche di Urbino nelle collezzione di Cosimo I, del Cardinale Ferdinando e di Francesco I de'Medici', in: Faenza LXV (1979), no 4, tav. XXXIa
Poke, C., 'Jacques Androuet I Ducerceau's 'Petites Grotesques' as a source for Urbino maiolica decoration', The Burlington Magazine, June 2001, p. 335, note 18

Production Note

The two large medallions are adapted from woodcuts by Salomon Bernard, from Figure del Vecchio Testamento con versi toscani, by Damian Maraffi published at Lyons in 1554.

Materials

Tin-glazed

Techniques

Painted

Categories

Maiolica

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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