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Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Dish with The Story of Semiramis

Artist:
Fra Xanto Avelli da Rovigo (ca. 1486–1582)
Artist:
After a design by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Date:
1534
Culture:
Italian, Urbino with Gubbio or Urbino luster
Medium:
Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), lustered
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): 1 7/16 × 17 7/8 in. (3.7 × 45.4 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Pottery
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1918
Accession Number:
18.129.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 503
This large dish has a wide depression and narrow rim. The organization of the imagery relates to these specifications; the figures on the rim are mere bystanders responding to the scene of Queen Semiramis receiving a visitor, and the primary narrative is completely enclosed within the plate’s central well.
Signature: On back, in blue, after inscription: • fra[n]: Xanto •A• / da Rovigo •[—] • / Urb[ino] •

Inscription: On back, in center: •m•dxxxiiii – / Hor vedi la ma[gna]nima Reina / ch’una tre[ccia]
rivolta, e, laltra sp[ars]a / corse alla [B]abylonica ruina • / • fra[n]: Xanto •A• / da Rovigo •[—] • / Urb[ino] • [trans.: 1534. Now you see the great-hearted queen, who with one lock of hair bound up and the other loose, ran to the ruin of Babylon. Francesco Xanto A[velli] of Rovigo made this in Urbino.]
Count Elia Volpi , Florence (in 1903) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until d. 1913; to his son, J. P. Morgan) ; by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–18; given by him in his father's name to MMA with three other pieces of maiolica in exchange for two "Saint Porchaire" salt cellars that he had previously donated to the Museum)
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