Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dish with profile of a woman with Petrarchan verse

ca. 1510–30
Italian, Deruta
Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), lustered
Overall (confirmed): 3 1/2 × 15 7/8 in. (8.9 × 40.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1894
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Umbrian town of Deruta was an important center of maiolica production and was particularly famous for its display plates—especially those bearing images of lovely women. Here, confident lines describe a graceful feminine profile. Dishes such as this example functioned as a circular picture, with the patterned rim enclosing and enhancing the central image, not unlike a framed panel painting.
Inscription: Inscribed within scroll to left of woman: LA / VITA • ELF / N / E • ELDI • LODA / LAS / E / R / A [trans.: La vita el fin, e 'il di loda la sera; The end crowns life, as the evening crowns the day.]
Alessandro Castellani , Rome (by 1876–78; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 27–29, 1878, no. 143; perhaps sold to C. D. E. Fortnum, who may have returned it to Castellani); perhaps Charles Drury Edward Fortnum (from 1878) ; Alessandro Castellani , Rome (until d. 1883; his sale, Palazzo Castellani, Rome, March 17–April 10, 1884, pt. 2, no. 21; sold for 2,350 lire [approxuimately $470], to "Villegas," perhaps acting for Henry G. Marquand); Henry G. Marquand (until 1894; to MMA)
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