This is an early example of the Belle donne ("beautiful women") ceramics popular throughout the Renaissance. They were probably made as amorous gifts, although it is difficult to know if they are really portraits of individuals. Because of the imagery of this bowl it may refer to Lucrezia de’Medici, the daughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent (whose birthtray is displayed in this gallery), born in 1470.
J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (by 1901–d. 1913; on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1901–12 [no. 243], bought to New York 1912; to his son, J. P. Morgan); by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–16; on loan to MMA 1914–16 [PM3115]; sold to Duveen as part of the Morgan collection ["Morgan Majolica" no. 86]); [ Duveen Brothers , New York, 1916; sold to Schiff ] ; Mortimer L. Schiff , New York (1916–d. 1931; on loan to MMA 1917–19; to his son, John); by descent, John M. Schiff (1931–46; on loan to MMA 1937–46, on view 1937–41; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 4, 1946, no. 64; sold for $1,700 plus $85 commission to French and Company); [ French and Co., New York , as agent for MMA, 1946 ]