Shallow dish in large dimensions (serving plate) with a distinct rim and
a disc base; reconstructed from fragments and integrated both in form
and decoration. Overall glazing.
sample belongs to a group of large plates found in the “pozzo dei
lavatoi” and attributed, as will be shown forthwith, to the workshop of
Lorenzo di Piero Sartori, whom, as is known, marked his works with the
initials “Lo”. All these documents, as well as being unusually large,
denote a highly developed research, capable of highlighting, with a
rigorous monochrome blue, the geometric severity of the composition that
characterises them. They are light and shiny, especially in the
bordering bands, as in miniature painting.
the decoration is characterised by the use of a floral motive of
miniature dimensions composed of two tiny cup shape corolla that seem to
stem form the same stalk and bend with structural uniformity so as to
form a half-circle.
are closed by the same stamen from which they originate. The centre of
the decoration displays, as always, (there is one known single
exception) an inverse disposition of the two tiny flowers that compose
uniting the two plant circles a type of chain is formed which, in its
linear development, fills in the spaces in proximity to the rim of the
plate or soup-bowl.
decoration, with the exception of a floating sphere (to be studied, but
evidently from Iznik) has not, to date, been documented on other ‘dark’
forms. In the tangent point of the diverse rings that compose the
“chain” the stylised stamens of the small flowers are prolonged into a
type of decoration is also characterised by the attempt to respect,
despite the dimensions of the dish, the structural partitioning of the
flower by means of meticulous outlining. There is little space between
the bud and the corolla and, at times, this formal separation is
enhanced by tiny circles (often in manganese brown) at the base of the
piece of maiolica, found in the “pozzo dei lavatoi”, has a floral
contour of a circular chain with eight four petal motifs. This frame
encloses the well in which a geometric plant composition has been
is a well known motif in maiolica painting, so much so that in Montelupo
it was used throughout the whole Renaissance period. The decoration was
obtained by superimposing a diamond on a square (or two squares with the
same centre, one at 45 degrees). In it one can see an octagon of Islamic
is comparable to the ancient symbolism found “in eight part
constructions” of buildings such as the “Castel del Monte” in Andria.
The external portion of the geometric figure, in fact, becomes a kind of
radius, formed by eight equilateral triangles, usually only partially
painted in the back ground with blue, while the centre of the octagonal
space, common to both superimposed figures, is painted, usually with a
motive of the blossomed buds embraced in a ring with which the contour
of this maiolica is depicted, can be compared to the engravings
reproduced as prints at the beginning of the 16th century that
circulated amongst goldsmiths and decorators (Omodeo 1975, no. 19),
there are also other examples in porcelain products of Iznik, that can
be dated to the end of the 16th century (Soustiel 2001, p. 10 fig. 1).
As is known, during the 1490’s some potters from Montelupo, paid
particular attention to great manufacturing centres of Anatolia, and,
thus, managed to obtain both the colour red (cf. See previous cards 34
and 44), and the characteristic shape of the suspended spheres,
decorative form which probably derived from a Nicaean tradition.