Roundel (tondo)

Artist: possibly workshop of Giovanni Maria Vasaro (Italian (Castel Durante), active early 16th century)

Date: ca. 1510–20

Culture: Italian, Castel Durante

Medium: Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)

Dimensions: Diameter: 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Pottery

Credit Line: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Accession Number: 1975.1.1025


Regarded as one of the most beautiful pieces of maiolica (a refined tin-glazed pottery) ever made, this bowl is splendidly decorated with symbols of papal authority, such as keys and the tiara, and personal references to Pope Julius II della Rovere and his family, such as the oak tree. Julius probably commissioned the bowl for his supporter, the Bolognese envoy Melchiorre di Giorgio Manzoli—whose coat of arms appears at the lower edge—to commemorate the reestablishment of papal rule in Bologna in 1506. Giovanni Maria Vasaro, whose name is inscribed on the back, may have been the painter or the owner of the workshop in Castel Durante that produced the bowl.