Exuberant Grotesques: Renaissance Maiolica from the Fontana Workshop
September 15, 2009, through January 17, 2010
Snake-Handled Vase, with scenes from Amadis of Gaul
Urbino or Turin, c. 1560–70 probably the workshop of Orazio Fontana
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with the Bloomﬁeld Moore Fund and with other museum funds in 1944
This vase belongs to the service illustrated with scenes from the epic romance Amadis of Gaul. It is painted with two scenes from the ﬁve-volume epic written in the late ﬁfteenth century by the Spanish poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (died 1505). The nocturnal scene (below) depicts Amadis pursuing a knight who has kidnapped a young lady. The scene on the back portrays Amadis and Galaor interrupted in their ﬁght by a knight, who informs them that, rather than being enemies, they are in fact brothers.