FRIESS, Joachim
(b. ca 1579, Lübeck, d. 1620, Augsburg)

Diana and the Stag

c. 1620
Silver, partially gilt, height 38 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Joachim Friess was a German goldsmith who became master goldsmith in 1610 in Augsburg.

Renaissance Augsburg was, after Nuremberg, the greatest of the German manufacturing and commercial cities, and a ready supply of silver enabled its guild of goldsmiths to fashion great numbers of richly ornamented vessels for export. This automaton, in which the goddess Diana, designed in late Mannerist style, is seated on a hollow-bodied stag with a removable head, functioned as a drinking vessel. A mechanism in the base causes the automaton to roll about on a tabletop in a pentagonal pattern and then stop; the person before whom it stopped would have to drain the contents. Diana's quiver and arrow and the jewels set in the trappings of the stag are modern replacements.




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