Workshop of Orazio Fontana, (1540–1571)
Dish, ca. 1565–75
H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm), diam. 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm)
Gift of Dianne Dwyer Modestini in memory of Mario Modestini, 2008 (2008.17.01)
In 2008, the Frick received a remarkable mid-sixteenth-century maiolica charger from the Fontana workshop. The dish, which was once part of the important collection formed by Adolphe de Rothschild, fills a significant gap in the Frick’s holdings. While many collectors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were maiolica enthusiasts, Henry Clay Frick never purchased any examples. Yet he was deeply interested in Renaissance objects, particularly Limoges enamels, and was also fond of the ceramic arts, collecting fine and rare examples of eighteenth-century Sèvres and Chinese porcelain. This charger beautifully complements the Frick's esteemed collection of decorative arts, and was given by Dianne Modestini in memory of her late husband Mario Modestini.