• Dish with a Depiction of The Abduction of Helen and the Gonzaga and D’Este Coat of Arms

    Technique:
    painting over opaque white tin glaze
    Dimensions:
    diam. 52 cm

Dish with a Depiction of The Abduction of Helen and the Gonzaga and D’Este Coat of Arms

Italy, Urbino, Circa 1519

The brightly coloured resplendent pieces of pottery would have adorned the homes of wealthy Italians in the Renaissance era. The Hermitage’s collection of majolica is one of the largest in the world. It contains works representing the leading centres of the crafts: Faenza, Urbino, Castel-Durante, Siena and Deruta. After being thrown on a potter’s wheel the clay articles were allowed to dry and then dipped in a liquid tin-glaze. This provided an opaque white surface on which to paint the decoration. On firing the paintings fused with the glaze, becoming bright and shiny. This technique was used for albarelli - cylindrical apothecary’s vessels for ointments or syrups, plates and dishes, bowls, vases and table ornaments. Each of the centres had its own characteristics. Urbino was noted for pieces decorated with multifigure compositions executed more often than not on the basis of engravings of picture by famous artists. The Abduction of Helen dish, for example, was based on a drawing by Raphael. Deruta was famed for pieces with a lustre coating – a very fine film that gave the finished article an opalescent sheen. In Castel-Durante they produced what were known as “lovers’ plates” with half-length depictions of women and the name of the beloved. Sometime they also featured loving couples. These pieces were used as wedding presents.

Title:

Dish with a Depiction of The Abduction of Helen and the Gonzaga and D’Este Coat of Arms

Place of creation:

Date:

School:

Material:

Technique:

painting over opaque white tin glaze

Dimensions:

diam. 52 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1920; formerly in the M.P. Botkin collection

Inventory Number:

Ф-1830

Collection: