The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Bust of a woman
  • Dish
  • Bust of a woman
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Deruta, Italy
  • c. 1500 - 1515
  • Tin-glazed earthenware, painted and lustred
  • Diameter: 38.9 cm
  • Inscription: 'SoLA. SPERÂÇA. ELMo. CoR. TE NE' Sola speranza el mio cor tene (my heart has only hope)
  • C27
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Deruta is renowned for producing glorious large maiolica dishes glowing with metallic golden lustre. The young woman depicted on this early example epitomises the ideal of feminine beauty as immortalised by such artists as Perugino and Pinturicchio, who were working locally to great acclaim around the turn of the century. Perhaps the dish was a betrothal gift, because the inscription on the scroll means ‘My heart has only hope’, and the pendant may house a portrait of her lover or a mirror showing his reflection.