Dish thumbnail 1
Dish thumbnail 2
+3
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Dish

1590-1800 (made)
Place Of Origin

Bernard Palissy was the most innovative and original ceramist of the French Renaissance. A man of multiple talents and interests, he was at once a favourite of the Catholic royal family and nobility of France, and an ardent Protestant who was often punished for his beliefs.
Trained as a glass painter, with a keen interest in the natural world and geology, he published serious studies of natural history and lively accounts of the long struggle and desperate financial straits to which he was driven to perfect the modeling, firing and glazing of his ceramics. Palissy studied the chemistry of glazes and by 1567 had set up a kiln on the grounds of the Palais des Tuileries in Paris for which he was commissioned to make a grotte rustique by Catherine de' Medici, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. It was never completed.

Palissy is best known for his rustique figulines : basins, ewers and dishes decorated with plants and animals skillfully cast from life and vividly coloured glazes. The life casting of animals and plants was already practiced by some contemporary goldsmiths but Palissy was the first to apply the process to ceramics. Having perfected his first rustic basin around 1555, Palissy was presented to Henri II, who praised and purchased it. Such elevated patronage confirms the high status of Palissy's ceramics, which reflect the growing interest of the period in practical knowledge and empirical understanding of the natural world, its curiosities and phenomena.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Earthenware with coloured glazes
Brief Description
Dish, earthenware with coloured glazes, 1590-1800, France.
Physical Description
Earthenware dish with distinct decorations in relief of reptiles, plants and shells coloured with bright glazes.
Dimensions
  • Length: 40.6cm
  • Width: 53.3cm
  • Height: 4cm
  • Weight: 2.76kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Marks and Inscriptions
Dept.S&A Museum (Label; back; paper (fiber product))
Object history




Subjects depicted
Summary
Bernard Palissy was the most innovative and original ceramist of the French Renaissance. A man of multiple talents and interests, he was at once a favourite of the Catholic royal family and nobility of France, and an ardent Protestant who was often punished for his beliefs.

Trained as a glass painter, with a keen interest in the natural world and geology, he published serious studies of natural history and lively accounts of the long struggle and desperate financial straits to which he was driven to perfect the modeling, firing and glazing of his ceramics. Palissy studied the chemistry of glazes and by 1567 had set up a kiln on the grounds of the Palais des Tuileries in Paris for which he was commissioned to make a grotte rustique by Catherine de' Medici, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. It was never completed.



Palissy is best known for his rustique figulines : basins, ewers and dishes decorated with plants and animals skillfully cast from life and vividly coloured glazes. The life casting of animals and plants was already practiced by some contemporary goldsmiths but Palissy was the first to apply the process to ceramics. Having perfected his first rustic basin around 1555, Palissy was presented to Henri II, who praised and purchased it. Such elevated patronage confirms the high status of Palissy's ceramics, which reflect the growing interest of the period in practical knowledge and empirical understanding of the natural world, its curiosities and phenomena.
Bibliographic References
  • Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.
  • Perrin, Isabèlle. Les Techniques céramiques de Bernard Palissy. Doctoral thesis, Université de Paris IV - Sorbonne, U.F.R.d'Archéologie - Histoire de l'Art, 2 vols (Paris: 2002).
Collection
Accession Number
5476-1859

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 18, 2003
Record URL