Jan 18, 2006

Plate with a Portrait of a Gentleman

Plate with a Portrait of a Gentleman

c. 1525-30

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

Diameter: 28.1 cm (11 1/16 in.)

Gift of M. & R. Stora 1923.1087

Did you know?

The gentleman featured in the center of this plate wears a chaperon, a type of hat that first became popular during the 1300s.


Italian nobles of the 1500s often expressed their wealth, social status, and sophistication by ordering large sets of maiolica that sometimes carried their coats of arms or even likenesses, usually in profile similar to portrait paintings of the period. Reserved for use at festival events such as a wedding or commissioned to mark a special occasion or an important visit, elaborately decorated utilitarian vessels in maiolica were prized as works of art by their owners and displayed as such in their residences.

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