(b. ca. 1480, Urbino, d. ca. 1538, Urbino)

Broad-rimmed Bowl

c. 1525
Maiolica, diameter 27 cm
British Museum, London

Isabella d'Este turned to one of the most famous maiolica painters, Nicola da Urbino, when she wanted a set of maiolica plates and bowls. This service was Nicola's most prestigious commission; in the next decade he made services for Isabella's son, Federico Gonzaga, 1st Duke of Mantua, and his wife, Margherita Paleologo.

This bowl belongs to the service commissioned by Isabella d'Este. Her coat-of-arms is prominently featured on the pieces; here it is centred while the arms of her husband are suspended from a tree on the left. Most of the pieces feature scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The scenes shown here centre around the famous moment when Daphne turns into a laurel tree to escape the advances of Apollo, as seen on the right.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.