Montelupo dish, 17th century, of tin-glazed earthenware, decorated predominantly in yellow, ochre, green, blue and manganese with a figure striding through a stylised mountainous landscape with fruiting tree and house just visible, the figure with a pike over his right shoulder and a rapier in his belt, wearing striped jerkin, voluminous breeches, a blue sash and tall feathered hat, the reverse with concentric circles in manganese.
Diameter: 32.5cm. (12 3/4in.)
Loss of glaze to the rim and a small portion at the centre, the reverse with shallow chip to rim, restored to a high standard
During the 17th century, the potters of Montelupo developed a sketchy style in a palette of brown and yellow which represented an evolution of the istoriato majolica of the earlier Renaissance. The subject matter of these new wares was no longer religion or mythology, but ordinary people, often caricatured or painted in a humorous folk style. This development mirrors the contrast between high classical theatre and the ‘Commedia dell’Arte’, which developed in the 16th century and whose focus was the colourful trials and triumphs of everyday people.