This basin is decorated with scenes from the chivalric tale of Amadis, who endured a number of trials in order to win his beloved princess, Oriana. Large serving dishes of this type would have been used communally, placed on the table within reach of several diners. In this case, the number and placement of the scenes suggest that it was intended to serve four, each with an image oriented in his or her direction.
Inscription: Inscribed on back, in Spanish: (at upper right) Darioleta abaxa en el rio / el / ninno Amadis puesto en / el Arca • / •I• [trans.: Darioleta lowers into the river the baby Amadis placed in the chest. 1]; (at upper left) Gandales toma el Arca / saca el ninno y lo da a su / muger a criar • / •II• [trans.: Gandales pulls out the chest, takes out the baby, and gives him to his wife to nurse. 2]; (at center) La Reyna muestra a sus don / zellas la fermosura y apostura / del Donzel del Mar • / •III• [trans.: The Queen shows her ladies the handsomeness and bearing of the Child of the Sea. 3]; (at lower left) Urganda la desconoçida mu / estra al Hermitâno en el Aria / dos serpiêtes q[ue] sînificâ a / Amadis y Galaor • / •IIII• [trans.: Urganda the unrecognized shows to the hermit two serpents in the air that represent Amadis and Galaor. 4]; (at lower right) Sirve el Donzel del Mar / a su Oriana de Copa • / •V• [trans.: The Child of the Sea serves his Oriana as cupbearer. 5]
Spanish Royal Collections , Escorial ; Baron de Monville, possible Hippolyte Boissel, Baron de Monville , Paris (until 1837; his sale, 7, rue de Las Cases, Paris, March 7–10, 1837, no. 15; sold for 4,650 francs); Sir Anthony de Rothschild , London (by 1862) ; George and Florence Blumenthal , Paris and New York (by 1926–her d. 1930) ; George Blumenthal (1930–d. 1941; bequeathed to MMA)