WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s rare, beautiful, and typifies Renaissance Italy.
We are thrilled to offer this Renaissance maiolica portrait charger!
Made of maiolica (tin glazed earthenware) in the first half of the 16th century circa 1530, this charger is painted primarily in two tones of orange and light blue with details of yellow and green in the central figure’s hair and cap, and in the leaves on the wide border. In the style of 16th century Italy our charger has a slightly raised rim, and a small footring. The back is lead glazed and the front is tin-glazed.
Large decorative dishes like this one were known at the time as piatti da pompa, “show” or “display” dishes. They were a specialty of Deruta potters. Our charger is an example of the bella donna model, a iconographical type which portrayed an idealized young woman, often in profile. Bella donna plates were meant to typify an “ideal beauty” and serve as model for wives and mothers.
The subject of this charger is “Ladreana,” a young woman who is hand-painted in profile with high forehead and blond hair. In the Italian Renaissance these features formed the idealized vision of feminine beauty. She is shown in half-length profile with her name prominently inscribed on a banner. The earth tone colors found in her dress and again in the border add a particular Renaissance beauty to the charger.
14.50″ diameter x 2.25″ height
The back of the charger shows burn marks and flaking from over firing during the making. The front of the charger has some invisible restoration to painted areas and some wear, bubbling, and flaking to the enamels (see images). The edge has small chips (see images).
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