The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Triumph of Neptune
  • Dish
  • The Triumph of Neptune
  • Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo (c. 1486 - c. 1542) , Painter
  • Urbino, Italy
  • 1533
  • Tin-glazed earthenware, painted
  • Diameter: 48 cm
  • Inscription: 'M.D. XXXIII / Triumpha qui Nettǔ nelle salse onde / Su le qual gode lamorosa Stella / Ignuda frà suoi figli, e, bella / Vien coronata de fioretti,e, fronde / . Frā : Xanto. A. / . da Rovigo ī / Vrbino' 'Neptune triumphs here in the salt waves on which rejoices the amorous naked Star between her sons, and fair and lovely comes crowned with flowers and leaves.'
  • C89
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Two Venetian families, Michiel and Gritti, are represented by the coat of arms on this spectacular dish, probably made for Giacomo Michiel and his wife, Laura Gritti, the Doge’s niece. It was painted by Xanto, who signed and inscribed more works than any other maiolica painter. The inscription on the back includes the verse ‘Neptune triumphs here in the salt waves on which rejoices the amorous naked Star between her sons, and fair and lovely comes crowned with flowers and leaves’. The complex allegory probably celebrates Venice as a victorious maritime power. As was his usual practice, Xanto extracted figures from various print sources and incorporated them into his composition.