Judith dishes it out

03 Apr

As long as we are talking about maiolica, there’s more!


Workshop in Faenza IT, Dish depicting Judith with the head of Holofernes, ca. 1535, Tin-glazed earthenware, 26 cm diameter, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK


At roughly the same time the maiolica plate discussed in the previous post was being produced north of Florence, this dish was being manufactured 62 mi NE in Faenza.  From the early fifteenth century forward, the high standards of the maiolica produced by this town resulted in its name being given to faience as the techniques moved northward into France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia..  Although prior motifs were heraldic lions and Tuscan oak leaves, in the early 16th century the istoriato style of decoration  became popular at Faenza, with paintings of history painting and scenes from the Bible, mythology, and legend covering the ceramics..

This particular dish is somewhat unusual in that the story of Judith is confined to the small center of the well.  So imagine the surprise of the dinner guests when the last bit of salad is served to reveal the depiction of Holofernes’ decapitation.  Saving room for dessert, everyone?

See you at the V&A!

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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Exploring


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