Exuberant Grotesques: Renaissance Maiolica from the Fontana Workshop
September 15, 2009, through January 17, 2010
Large Oval Dish,
with scenes from Amadis of Gaul
Urbino or Turin, c. 1560–70
probably the workshop of Orazio Fontana
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
This piece belonged to a service painted with scenes from the epic romance Amadis of Gaul, a medieval tale retold and expanded in the late ﬁfteenth century by the Spanish poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (died 1505). The scenes depicted on the plate are, clockwise from upper left: a battle between Amadis and King Abies of Ireland; Amadis receiving a message from a young lady inscribed “Amadis, son of a King”; Amadis giving a ring to Princess Melicia, daughter of King Perion; and King Perion and Queen Elisena visiting Amadis’s bedroom, where the knight is found sleeping. Each scene is described in Spanish on the reverse, suggesting that the service was made for a Spanish patron.