Wineglass or sweetmeat cup (confittiera) with scenes of Virgil and Febilla, ca. 1475–1500
Venice (Murano), Barovier Glass House
Enameled and gilded glass; 8 1/2 x 4 7/8 in. (21.6 x 12.4 cm)
Inscribed: VERBLIO; VENITE
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.730a,b)
The scenes depict Virgil in a basket hanging from the emperor's tower; a rider informs the emperor of Virgil's revenge; and the emperor's daughter publicly suffers her fate of fire being kindled from a live coal within her body in order to relight all the domestic fires in Rome extinguished by Virgil's magic. Candied fruit and other sweetmeats along with sweet wine were normally served at the end of a banquet or feast in confittieri. This cup is a brilliant reminder of the most elaborate and original work carried out under the supervision of Maria Barovier in Murano.
The glass has been fitted with a new foot and stem, which were designed and made by William Gudenrath, the Corning Museum of Glass. The new foot is based on the style and proportions of other Italian goblets of similar age and with the same upper portion shape.