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Atalanta's Race against Hippomenes


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Title/s

Atalanta's Race against Hippomenes

Maker/s

Manara, Baldassare (painter) [ULAN info: Italian, b. Faenza, active ca. 1526-1547]

Category

tin-glazed earthenware
maiolica (sub-category)

Name

plate

School/Style

Renaissance

Description

Maiolica plate, painted in polychrome, with Atalanta's Race against Hippomenes.

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall. There are two glaze faults on the back. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, stone, and black. Shape approximately 54 but shallower. Circular with a wide slidhtly sloping rim and shallow sloping rim and shallow well. Atalanta's Race against Hippomenes. On the right, King Schoenius sits on a stool with two attendants standing behind him. Hippomenes and another youth race towards him from the left, while Atalanta stoops to pick up a golden apple thrown down by Hippomenes. In the landscape background are a castle, two smaller buildings and a bridge, a clump of trees, and distant mountains. Here and there on the grass there are pebbles and plants with one four-petalled flower. In the foreground there is a cartouche containing a kite-shaped shield charged with the arms or, a griffin segreant to sinister sable, in chief an inverted label of four points gules (shown orange) with three barrels (?) gules (shown orange) above. The edge of the plate is yellow. The back is inscribed in the middle in dark blue, `MD/XXX/IIII/>B<M'. The rest is decorated with orange scale pattern over wide zones of yellow, reserved white and yellow, with four narrow concentric orange bands round the base and the outer edge.

Production Notes

The scene on the dish was probably adapted from the woodcut entitled 'DE HIPPOMENE ET ATALANTA' in Tutti gli libri de Ouidio Metamorphoseos tradutti dal litteral in uerso vulgar con le sue Allegorie in prosa, Venice (Niccolo Zoppino and Vincenzo di Polo (Giacomo da Lecco)), 1522. The figure on the right is after

Production Place

Faenza (painter) (place)

Emilia-Romagna (painter) (region)

Italy (painter) (country)

Faenza (pottery) (place)

Emilia-Romagna (pottery) (region)

Italy (pottery) (country)

Technique Description

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall. There are two glaze faults on the back. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, stone, and black.

Dimensions

height: (whole): 2.7 cm
diameter: (whole): 22.8 cm

Period

16th century
Renaissance

Date

1534

Provenance

bought: Sotheby's 1939 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Dr Alfred Pringsheim; Sotheby's, 19 July 1939, Catalogue of the renowned collection of Italian majolica, the property of Dr Alfred Pringsheim of Munich, lot 256.

Purchased with the Glaisher Fund.

Inscriptions/Marks

  1. inscription
    Position: on base
    Method: painted in dark blue
    Content: M D/XXX/III/>B<M
    Interpretation: date and initials of painter Baldassare Manare

Documentation

  1. Falke, Otto von (1923) Die Majolikasammlung Alfred Pringsheim in München, II, The Hague
    [comments: Publ. pl. 107, no. 203]
  2. Ballardini, Gaetano (1938) Corpus della maiolica italiana, II, Le maioliche datate dal l53l al l535, Rome [page: p. 25]
    [comments: Publ. p. 25, no. 126, fig. 122]
  3. 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 256]
  4. Poole, Julia E. (1995) Italian Maiolica and Incised Slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press [page: pp. 256-8]
    [comments: Publ. pp. 256-258, no. 335, Colour Plate 29]
  5. Ravanelli Guidotti, Carmen (1996) Baldassare Manara Faentino pittore di maioliche nel Cinquecento, Ferrara [page: pp. 142-5]
    [comments: Publ. pp. 142-5, no. 12. This book provides the fullest account of the career and work of this maiolica painter.]
  6. Poole, Julia E. (1997) Fitzwilliam Museum Handbooks, Italian Maiolica, Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press [page: 70-1]
    [comments: Publ. pp. 70-1, no. 30]
  7. Thornton, Dora (2009) Italian Renaissance Ceramics: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, London: British Museum Press [page: 147-8]
    [comments: Cf. pp. 17-8, no. 93 a broad-rimmed bowl of 1534 decorated by Baldassare Manara with 'Tuccia', inscribed MDXX/XIII/F.ATHAN/ASIVS/B M. The Fitzwilliam's dish is cited on p. 18, note 9.]

Other Notes

The story of how Hippomenes won Atalanta's hand in marriage by defeating her in a race is told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, X, 560-680.

Accession Number

EC.23-1939 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 80701; Input Date: 2002-08-06 / Last Edit: 2011-05-03)

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