AVELLI, Francesco Xanto
(b. ca. 1487, Rovigo, d. ca. 1542, Urbino)

Plate with the Sinking of the Fleet of Seleucus

Tin-glazed earthenware, diameter 26,5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This impressive maiolica plate was part of a service commissioned by the Pucci family in Florence; it was common for elaborate maiolica dinnerware such as this to be decorated with the family's coat-of-arms. The plate indicates the impact of the style of Michelangelo on personal and domestic culture. The theme is taken from an obscure third-century text, History of the World by Marcus Junianus Justinus, as Avelli tells us in an inscription on the bottom of the plate, along with his signature and the date.

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