Bowl

  • Unidentified, Bowl, 1500-1600, ceramic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.489

Luce Center Label

Italian majolica ceramic ware was popular in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Its name derives from the Spanish island of Majorca, a large trading center for vessels sailing the Mediterranean. The art of majolica was first brought to the Western world by Islamic potters in the twelfth century. Craftsmen in Italy could not replicate the lustrous finish used by the Spanish artists, so instead they concentrated on the detail of the painting and the clarity of the colors. Majolica was produced in pottery factories, in which the throwers, painters, and kilnmen all worked side by side. First, the thrown clay form was fired to produce bisque ware. This was then covered with opaque lead and tin oxides and painted with glazes. The glazes were a dull blue and gray until fired for a second time, when they fused into glasslike purples, blues, greens, yellows, and reds. The illustrations on the pottery would range from mythological images to copies of famous works of art. A Renaissance painting by Rosso Fiorentino inspired the design for the plate displayed here [see 1929.8.479].

Title
Bowl
Artist
Date
1500-1600
On View
Dimensions
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of John Gellatly

Mediums Description
ceramic
Classifications
Keywords
  • Dress – uniform – military uniform
  • Fantasy
  • Figure group
Object Number
1929.8.489
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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