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Ulysses commanding Circe to restore his Companions to their Rightful Forms


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Title/s

Ulysses commanding Circe to restore his Companions to their Rightful Forms

Maker/s

Avelli, Francesco Xanto (painter) [ULAN info: Italian pottery painter, act.1530-1542]

Raimondi, Marcantonio after (printmaker) [ULAN info: Italian artist, 1470/1482-1527/1534]

Monogrammist IB after (printmaker) [ULAN info: German printmaker, active 1523-1530]

Dente, Marco (Marco da Ravenna) after (printmaker) [ULAN info: Italian printmaker, ca.1493-1527]

Category

tin-glazed earthenware
maiolica (sub-category)

Name

bowl with broad rim

School/Style

Renaissance

Description

Maiolica bowl with broad rim, painted in polychrome with Ulysses commanding Circe to restore his Companions to their Rightful Forms.

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige and tinged with green. Painted in blue, turquoise-green, yellowish-green, yellow, orange, beige, brown, manganese, black, and white. Shape 58. Circular with a wide, slightly sloping rim and small, deep well. Ulysses commanding Circe to restore his Companions to their Rightful Forms. Ulysses stands on the left, his head turned towards Circe, and his left arm pointing to one of his companions with a swine's hind limbs and head, who reclines in the foreground. In the middle, two of his men with swine's hind legs bear vessels to Circe; the one on the left has a covered dish and the other a ewer and basin. Behind them is a doorway with the date `1532' inscribed in a panel above it. On the right, Circe sits on a throne, holding a sceptre or wand in her right hand. Above her, imposed on a draped curtain is a shield charged with the arms of Pucci of Florence: argent, a moor's head proper wearing a headband argent charged with three hammers sable, with behind, a papal ombrellino. The edge is yellow. The back is inscribed in the middle in dark blue: `.1532./Vlisse chiede a Circe/i suoi compagni/Nel .XIIII. Li d Ouidio Met:/.fra: Xanto.A./da Rovi...i / Urbi . . .' (Ulysses asks Circe for his companions In the 14th Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses:.francesco Xanto.Avelli of Rovigo in Urbino).

Production Notes

Xanto was a freelance maiolica painter. It is not known in which workshop this dish was made. Xanto frequently constructed the scenes on his dishes with figures taken from several different engraved sources. The scene from the story of Ulysses and Circe was constructed from four. Ulysses was derived from 'Jupiter', dated 1528, by the Monogrammist IB. The figure also resembles Perseus in the woodcut illustration of Perseus and Andromeda in 'Ouidio methamorphoseos vulgare', Venice (Lucantonio Giunta), 1497. Circe was taken from the Muse Euterpe in the engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi of Raphael's 'Parnassus'. The two servants were adapted and transposed from the servants at the banquet given in Aeneas' honour by Dido, in the lowest right panel of the 'Quos Ego' engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi. The man with a swine's head in the foreground was probably derived from a figure in the 'Battle of the Romans and Carthaginians' engraved by Marco Dente after Raphael or Giulio Romano.

Production Place

Urbino (painter) (place)

The Marches (painter) (region)

Italy (painter) (country)

Italy (printmaker) (country) ()

Italy (printmaker) (country) ()

Italy (printmaker) (country) ()

Technique Description

buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige and tinged with green. Painted in blue, turquoise-green, yellowish-green, yellow, orange, beige, brown, manganese, black, and white.

Dimensions

height: (whole): 4.6 cm
diameter: (whole): 26.0 cm

Period

second quarter of 16th century
Renaissance

Date

dated 1532

Provenance

bequeathed: Horn, Marmaduke Langdale 1953 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Conte Ferdinando Pasolini Dall'Onda, Faenza; Paris, Ridel, 14 December 1853, Catalogue d'une belle collection de majoliques italiennes des diverses fabriques des XVe, XVIe & XVIIe siècles, lot 171; Andrew Fountaine IV (1808-73); his heir; Christie's, 16 June 1884, Catalogue of the celebrated Fountaine collection of majolika, Henry II ware, Palissy ware, Nevers ware, Limoges enamels . . ., removed from Narford Hall, Norfolk, lot 39; Lowengard; Bourgeois Frères; Cologne, Heberle, 19-27 October 1904, Collection Bourgeois Frères, Catalogue des objets d'art et e haute curiosité composant la collection Bourgeois Frères et dont la vente aura lieu à Cologne dans la grande salle du casino (Augustinerplatz 7) du mercredi 19 au jerdi 27 octobre 1904, lot 93; Dr Alfred Pringsheim; Sotheby's, 20 July 1939, Catalogue of the renowned collection of Italian majolica, the property of Dr Alfred Pringsheim of Munich, lot 390; Marmaduke Langdale Horn.

M.L. Horn Bequest

Inscriptions/Marks

  1. mark
    Position: on the back
    Method: incised
    Content: 'af' and '83'
    Interpretation: Fountaine collection mark
    Translation:
  2. inscription
    Position: in the middle of the back
    Method: painted in
    Content: 1532./Vlisse chiede a Circe/i suoi compagni/Nel .XIIII. Li d Ouidio Met:/.fra: Xanto.A./da Rovi...i / Urbi . . .'
    Interpretation: Date, identification of the scene on the front, its literary source, and the painter's signature
    Translation: Ulysses asks Circe for his companions In the 14th Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses:.francesco Xanto.Avelli of Rovigo in Urbino

Documentation

  1. Frati, Luigi (1852) Del Museo Pasolini in Faenza, Descrizione, Faenza [page: p. 14]
    [comments: Publ. p. 14, no. 49]
  2. (1853) Catalogue d'une belle collection de majoliques italiennes des diverses fabriques des XVe, XVIe & XVIIe siècles, Colmar, Paris13-15 December 1853)
    [comments: Publ. lot 171]
  3. Christie, Manson & Woods (1884) Catalogue of the celebrated Fountaine collection of majolika, Henry II ware, Palissy ware, Nevers ware, Limoges enamels, carvings in ivory, hone stone and rock crystal, Greek and Roman coins, ancient armour &c. &c., removed from Narford Hall, Norfolk, London: Christie, Manson & Woods 16-19 June 1884)
    [comments: Publ. lot 39]
  4. J.M. Heberle (H. Lempertz Söhne) (1904) Collection Bourgeois Frères, Catalogue des objets d'art et e haute curiosité composant la collection Bourgeois Frères et dont la vente aura lieu à Cologne dans la grande salle du casino (Augustinerplatz 7) du mercredi 19 au jerdi 27 octobre 1904, Cologne27 October 1904)
    [comments: Publ. lot 93]
  5. Falke, Otto von (1923) Die Majolikasammlung Alfred Pringsheim in München, II, The Hague
    [comments: Publ. no. 262 & pl. 136]
  6. Ballardini, Gaetano (1928) Rimpianto (Due collezioni faentine disperse), [page: pp. 105-19]
    Source title: Faenza (
    [comments: Publ. pp. 105-19, mentioned p. 113]
  7. Ballardini, Gaetano (1938) Corpus della maiolica italiana, II, Le maioliche datate dal l53l al l535, Rome [page: p. 21]
    [comments: Publ. p. 21, no. 50, figs. 47, 251R]
  8. Sotheby's Catalogue of the renowned collection of Italian majolica, the property of Dr Alfred Pringsheim of Munich, 7-8, 19-20 June, July 1939)
    [comments: Publ. lot 390]
  9. Moore, Andrew The Fountaine collection of maiolica, [page: p. 444]
    Source title: Burlington Magazine (June 1988)
    [comments: Publ. p. 444]
  10. Triolo, Julia Francesco Xanto Avelli's Pucci Service (1532-1533): Part Two, [page: 26-9]
    Source title: Faenza (1988)
    [comments: Publ. p. 267-9, no. 26 and pl. LIIa and b.]
  11. Triolo, Julia (1988) Francesco Xanto's Pucci Service (1532-1533): Part One, Faenza [page: 32-43]
    Source title: Faenza (1988)
    [comments: Ref.pp. 32-43 for information about the service]
  12. Wilson, Timothy (1990) Xanto and Ariosto, London [page: p. 254]
    Source title: Burlington Magazine (May 1990)
    [comments: Publ. p. 254, no. 80.13]
  13. Triolo, Julia Francesco Xanto Avelli's Pucci Service (1532-1533): Part Two, [page: pp. 267-9]
    Source title: Faenza (1988)
    [comments: Publ. pp. 267-9, no. 26 & pl. LIIa & b]
  14. Poole, Julia E. (1995) Italian Maiolica and Incised Slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press [page: pp. 338-340]
    [comments: Publ. pp. 338-340, no. 391; for the printed sources see p. 318, fig. 19, p. 313, fig. 17, p. 328, fig. 24, and p. 339, fig. 31]
  15. Landau, David (1978) Catalogo completo dell'opera grafica di Georg Pencz, Milan: Salamon & Agustoni [page: 10-18]
    [comments: Ref. p. 10-18, for a discussion of whether or not Monogrammist IB can be identified with Georg Pencz. Landau's view is that they are not the same person.]
  16. Christie's, London (2011) The Art of the Italian Potter, Maiolica and Porcelain from a Private Collection, London: Christie's 24 May 2011)
    [comments: Cf. Lot 22, a dish of almost identical diameter (26.1 cm) from the Pucci Service, decorated with the Metamorphosis of Aesacus from Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the dying nymph Hesperie. Price with buyer's premium £145,250.]

Other Notes

The story of Ulysses and Circe occurs in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book XIV, 248-307, the incident portrayed on the dish in lines 293-8. Circe had transformed Ulysses' companions into swine after giving them poisoned wine at a feast in her palace. Only one, Eurylochus, refrained from drinking and escaped to tell Ulysses. When the latter arrived at the palace he refused the poisoned cup offered by Circe and threatened her with his sword. Then, having made a marriage pact with her, he demanded as a wedding gift that she return his companions to their rightful forms. This subject also occurs on a dish of 1533 in the Louvre, which has the same figures of Ulysses and Circe, but is otherwise rendered differently.

Accession Number

C.11-1953 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 71355; Input Date: 2002-07-08 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

Related Object

C.10-1953 - Orlando finds Ruggiero's Charger Frontino, his Armour and Sword on board an abandoned Ship

Related Image/s

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