14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts Level 1, NGV International
Painted in colours with portrait of a nun, inscribed with the name "Sora Mavera", Italian (Castel Durante).
This bowl is decorated with an image of a nun, accompanied by a scroll with her name: Sora Mavera (Sister Mavera). The plate is similar to those bearing images of an idealised beautiful woman (bella donna) which were often given to young women by men as love gifts. An image of a nun is unusual in this context. It is known that the dowry which a nun brought with her when she entered convent could include maiolica. The plate may, however, memorialise a young family member who entered a cloister.