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Italian Maiolica jar, Venice, circa 1565, probably workshop of Domenego da Venezia, the ovoid body with a cylindrical tapering neck and flat unglazed base, painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, purple, black and white, an oval panel enriched with scrolls and painted with a Franciscan St Bernardin of Siena with a halo and holding a book in one hand and an image of the head of the sun in the other with characteristic white halo delineated by radiating orange streaks on a yellow ground, the panel on a dark blue ground incised with curved strokes and enriched with foliage and flower heads.
St Bernardin of Siena, who in many paintings is represented with a sun, the symbol of God, in the left hand and a book in the right hand.
For a similar shaped Venetian jar in the Louvre collections see J. Giacomotti, Les majoliques des Musées nationaux, Paris 1974, cat.1230, p.415. For similar distinctive Venetian strap work cartouches, see J. Poole, Italian Maiolica and incised slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum,cats.448-9, p.418 Cambridge, Cambridge, 1995