URBINI, Francesco
(active 1530s)

Plate "Testa di cazzi"

Maiolica, diameter 23 cm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The plate is dated on the underside in blue, and labelled with the mark of Francesco Urbini, the stylized "cavaletto", flanked by the initials, F.R.

The profiled head, in ochre tones with white highlights on a blue background is entirely composed of male sexual organs. A band of writing, broken in various places, wraps around it, and the initially illegible text is clarified through a key on the back of the plate, indicating that it should be read from right to left. The text means, tramslated literally: "Everyone looks at me as if I were a dickhead".

The expression "testa di cazzo" is used in Italy today as an expression of profanity to indicate a rather weak-headed individual with a bad character, whose reasoning originates not in his brain, but rather in his abdomen.

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