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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50a, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery

Basin of a wall fountain

Basin of a Wall Fountain
ca. 1550-1600 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Designed to catch water from a wall fountain, this basin was set into a façade or niche. Its back and parts of the sides are therefore unfinished. The coat of arms displayed in the shield has been identified as that of the Codognola, a noble family of Verona.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved Istrian stone
Brief Description
Basin of a wall fountain, Verona, first half of the 16th century
Physical Description
Basin of a wall fountain in Istrian stone. The front and sides of the upper half of the basin are carved with arabesques, which issue from the mouths of two grotesque heads on the front corners and terminate at the sides in lion heads holding a ring. The front displays a shield (a lion rampant, debruised by a bend charged with three cinquefoils). the gadrooned lower half of the basin curves inwards, and is supported at the front by two legs in the shape of lion paws. The back and the rear part of the sides are left untreated. The lip of the left side has been chipped and repaired at the back. Vertical break through the right leg.
Dimensions
  • Height: 82.5cm
  • Width: 130.5cm
  • Width: 130.5cm
  • Depth: 74cm
  • Total weight: 533kg
  • Basin only weight: 441kg
  • Left foot only weight: 43kg
  • Right foot only weight: 49kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Gallery Label
BASIN OF A WALL FOUNTAIN Istrian stone Italian (Verona); about 1550-1600 849-1884 Designed to catch water from a wall fountain, this basin was set into a façade or niche. Its back and parts of the sides are therefore unfinished. The shield displays the arms of the Codognola, a noble family of Verona for whom the basin was made.(2009)
Object history
Purchased in Florence. A report on the object made at the time of acquisition and now in the museum's archives reads as follows: "The basin of a fountain of carved grey marble - the outside is warm in colour but the inside has been re-chiselled by some one who thought of using it as a bath and that is of a cool grey. It is meant to be placed against a wall - one side not being finished." Pope-Hennessy noted that parts of the sides are also left rough indicative that the basin was set into a wall. The arms on the front of the basin have been tentatively identified as those of the Codognola of Verona or Lion of Venice. Pope-Hennessy dates the basin to the second half of the sixteenth century.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Designed to catch water from a wall fountain, this basin was set into a façade or niche. Its back and parts of the sides are therefore unfinished. The coat of arms displayed in the shield has been identified as that of the Codognola, a noble family of Verona.
Bibliographic References
  • List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1884. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1885. pp.80
  • Pope-Hennessy, John, assisted by Ronald Lightbown Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964. vol. 2, cat. no. 576, pp. 536-7, vol. III, fig. 561.
Collection
Accession Number
849-1884

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record createdMay 16, 2000
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