Collection Online

Sora Mavera, dish

earthenware (maiolica)
5.7 × 22.7 cm diameter
Place/s of Execution
Casteldurante, Italy
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Howard Spensley, 1939
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International
Physical description
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.