Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Tazza

Tazza

  • Place of origin:

    Deruta (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mancini, Giacomo (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Salting, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    C.2116-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case 2

Within Renaissance society, great emphasis was placed on the continuation of the lineage. Politically and economically advantageous alliances were meticulously negotiated and lavishly celebrated. This was only possible with extravagant spending and those who could afford it paid vast sums of money to fete the occasion. An elaborate courtship involved the exchange of many gifts particularly associated with, and often made especially for, the ritual. Therefore, art objects had a specific role in the practical business of arranging a marriage, translating tangible wealth in to signifiers of abstract virtue.

Love was a major iconographic theme in the decoration of maiolica. Besides the amorous themes from myth and legend, there exist numerous plates painted with the idealised portrait of a woman, often accompanied by her name. Known as belle donne (beautiful women) plates, these have usually been interpreted as tokens of love relating to courtship and marriage, and reflect the concerns with courtly standards of beauty, believed to be an outward show of inner virtue, found in contemporary treatises. In this example both a man and woman are depicted. The man holds a red carnation, which is particularly associated with betrothal, and behind the pair runs the motto DULCE EST AMARE (sweet is love).

Physical description

Painted in dark blue, yellow, orange, red, copper green, greenish grey and manganese purple, with busts of two lovers embracing. The woman wears a close-fitting cap, the man, who offers her a pink in his left hand, a plumed cap and a slashed doublet. Behind their heads a scroll with the inscription DULCE EST AMARE. On the back, in blue, a criss-cross border, tiger's claw motives surrounding the foot, and, within it, a wavey scroll traversed by a straight bar.

Place of Origin

Deruta (made)

Date

ca. 1550 (made)

Artist/maker

Mancini, Giacomo (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware

Dimensions

Height: 5.6 cm, Diameter: 26.8 cm, Weight: 0.68 kg

Object history note

Delsette Collection, bequeathed by Mr. George Salting

Historical significance: Love was a major iconographic theme in the decoration of maiolica. Besides the amorous themes from myth and legend, there exist numerous plates painted with the idealised portrait of a woman, often accompanied by her name. Known as belle donne (beautiful women) plates, these have usually been interpreted as tokens of love relating to courtship and marriage. The elegantly attired female subjects reflect the concerns with courtly standards of beauty, believed to be an outward show of inner virtue, found in contemporary treatises. In this example both a man and woman are depicted. The man holds a red carnation, which is particularly associated with betrothal, and behind the pair runs the motto DULCE EST AMARE (sweet is love).

Historical context note

Within Renaissance society, great emphasis was placed on the continuation of the lineage. Politically and economically advantageous alliances were meticulously negotiated and lavishly celebrated. This was only possible with extravagant spending and those who could afford it paid vast sums of money to fete the occasion. An elaborate courtship involved the exchange of many gifts particularly associated with, and often made especially for, the ritual. Therefore, art objects had a specific role in the practical business of arranging a marriage.

Descriptive line

Dish painted with depiction of lovers

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

Rackham B., Italian Maiolica, London, Faber & Faber, 1952
Syson, Luke & Dora Thornton, Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy, London: The British Museum Press, 2001
Musacchio, J., The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy, Yale, 1999
Ajmar-Wollheim, Marta and Dennis, Flora (eds.). At home in Renaissance Italy. London: V&A Publications, 2006. 420 p., ill. Published to accompany the exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 5 October 2006 - 7 January 2007. ISBN 1851774882

Materials

Tin-glazed earthenware

Categories

Ceramics

Collection

Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.