Follower of Bernard Palissy French
Decoration after pewter originals by François Briot French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544

The basin’s center is occupied by the figure of Temperance, one of the four cardinal virtues, who prepares to pour water into her wine cup to symbolize the concept of moderation. She is surrounded by personifications of the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), over which she rules; on the rim are vignettes featuring the seven liberal arts, presided over by Minerva (Athena), the Roman goddess of wisdom. The ewer for this basin (53.225.29) is decorated with representations of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Attesting to the close relationship between metalwork and ceramics at the time, this allegorically themed set was made after pewter originals by François Briot (ca. 1550–ca. 1612).

Basin, Follower of Bernard Palissy (French, Agen, Lot-et-Garonne 1510–1590 Paris), Lead-glazed earthenware, French, Fontainebleau or Avon

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