Italian Montelupo Dish, Late Seventeenth Century
Italian Montelupo dish, late seventeenth century, boldly decorated with a galloping horseman in a stylised landscape with distant mountains, rocks and vegetation, painted predominantly in yellow, green, blue and outlined in manganese; the reverse with concentric banding.
Diameter: 33.5cm. (13 3/16in.);
Usual slight loss of glaze around the rim, one faint hairline to the underside
During the 17th century, the potters of Montelupo developed a sketchy style in a palette of brown and yellow which represented an evolution of the istoriato majolica of the earlier Renaissance. The subject matter of these new wares was no longer religion or mythology, but ordinary people, often caricatured or painted in a humorous folk style. This development mirrors the contrast between high classical theatre and the ‘Commedia dell’Arte’, which developed in the 16th century and whose focus was the colourful trials and triumphs of everyday people.