Collection Online
earthenware (maiolica)
5.3 × 25.5 cm diameter
Place/s of Execution
Faenza, Italy
painted in blue on inside rim u.c.: 1519
painted (inverted) in blue on inside rim l.c.: 1519
painted in blue on base c.: o / (right pointing arrow) X (left pointing arrow) / (upward arrow) (all in a circle)
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1940
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
18th Century Decorative Arts - Great Hall Costume Corridor
Level 2, NGV International
The grotesque decoration of this maiolica plate is a classic example of sixteenth-century Italian adaptation of the ancient Roman decorative style. The grotesque is made up of tightly interlaced vegetal scrolls, some of which transform into dolphins’ heads. Books and masks are interspersed throughout the ornament, some of the latter with the date 1519, others bearing the SPQR cipher of the Roman commune. The density of the grotesque ornament is more exaggerated than the airy, open ornament of the Roman period, and the colour palette of the ceramic glazes is richer and heavier.