Tureen for "Risotto alla Pescatore"

  • Ubaldo Vitali, Tureen for "Risotto alla Pescatore", 2001, sterling silver and sodalite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance, 2011.22A-C, © 2001, Ubaldo Vitali

Exhibition Label

This serving dish was designed specifically for seafood risotto, which inspired the shape of the vessel and its decoration. The body resembles a fisherman's boat, while the tureen's lid and the tray handles conjure up ocean waves. Nestled into the vessel's surface are marine forms including starfish, shells, and octopi, all cast from life and molded to fit the undulating form of the tureen.

Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019

New Acquisition Label
Ubaldo Vitali's skill is most evident in his original designs. Tureen was crafted specifically to serve risotto alla pescatore, which inspired the shape of the vessel and its decoration. The body resembles a fisherman’s boat, while the tureen's lid and the handles on its tray resemble ocean waves. The sea forms, including starfish, shells, and octopi, are cast from life in the traditional eighteenth century manner, and then molded to fit the body of the tureen. The handles are trimmed with sodalite in further reference to the sea.

The design of this tureen is more baroque than Vitali's typically modernist works. At a time when silversmithing is declining globally and labor is increasingly specialized, this work offers masterful examples of the core techniques of raising, chasing, and casting. It illustrates the scope of Vitali's achievement in silver, both by bridging the Old World with the New, and by serving as an encyclopedia to his craft.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2011

Title
Tureen for "Risotto alla Pescatore"
Artist
Date
2001
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
6 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 13 in. (16.5 x 54.0 x 33 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the James Renwick Alliance

Mediums
Mediums Description
sterling silver and sodalite
Classifications
Highlights
Object Number
2011.22A-C
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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