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Plate

  • Place of origin:

    Iznik (probably, made)
    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    circa 1535-40 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, painted under the glaze

  • Museum number:

    5763-1859

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 36, shelf 2

This plate is the only known example of an Iznik vessel decorated with a portrait. Even more strikingly, the portrait is not of a Turk but of an Italian youth. He is shown wearing a cap with a feather and buttoned shirt with a collar against a landscape background composed of a series of hills with trees.

Iznik is the name given to the splendid ceramics produced in the town of that name in north-west Turkey in the 15th to 17th centuries. This plate belongs to a group of wares made around 1500 to 1550 and painted in blue and turquoise with decoration inspired by diverse sources. These included Chinese porcelain and Italian maiolica, which may have been the source of the portrait on this piece. The shape of the plate is also Italian, with a wide, flat rim and a shallow central recess. This object is clear evidence of the intense commercial and other contacts between Turkey and Italy in the 16th century.

Physical description

Broad-rimmed dish (tondino) with a depiction of an Italian youth in a landscape, Turkey (Iznik), around 1535-40.

Place of Origin

Iznik (probably, made)
Turkey (made)

Date

circa 1535-40 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Fritware, painted under the glaze

Dimensions

Diameter: 26.2 cm, Height: 3.5 cm

Historical context note

This plate belongs to a group of wares painted in blue and turquoise which are exemplary of a new trend in Iznik pottery which looked to Italian majolica and Chinese porcelain for decorative inspiration. The shape of the plate with its wide flat rim and shallow recess is also of Italian origin.

Descriptive line

Broad-rimmed dish (tondino) with a depiction of an Italian youth in a landscape, Turkey (Iznik), around 1535-40.

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

Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery. London: Faber and Faber, 1957. 133p., ill. Pages 51-2, plate 31A
Tim Stanley ed., with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004; pp. 56, 123, plate 144
Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey (London: Alexandria Press, 1989), p. 119, fig. 179.

Labels and date

Tondino with Portrait of Italian
Turkey, probably Iznik
1535-40
Fritware painted under the glaze
Museum no. 5763-1859 [Jameel Gallery]

Materials

Fritware; Glaze; Overglaze

Techniques

Firing; Painting; Overglaze

Subjects depicted

Italian

Categories

Islam

Collection

Middle East Section

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