Pharmacy jar (albarello) (one of a pair)

Italian, probably Pesaro

Not on view

The goddess Fortuna is depicted standing astride a sea-monster on each of these five jars (see 53.225.83, .84 and 41.190.343a, b–.345a, b). She is likely a symbol identifying the pharmacy to which the objects belonged. It is clear from subtle differences in the decoration that a number of artists were involved in making this set. On the three lidded jars, the roundel creates an illusion of a window opening onto a deep pictorial space. The painters have achieved an ambitious perspectival view—more impressive still on the two vessels with convex surfaces. On one, there is an amusing modification to the representation of Fortuna, who puckers her lips to blow wind into her own sail. The three lids are original, a rare survival.

Pharmacy jar (albarello) (one of a pair), Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, probably Pesaro

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