THE COLLECTION
Basin
  • Date: late 16th century - early 17th century
  • Medium: Earthenware, lead-glazed, with moulded and applied decoration
  • Length: 49.3 cm
  • Width: 37.1 cm
  • Inv: C174
  • Location: Smoking Room
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Description
Provenance
Further Reading
  • Bernard Palissy, a highly innovative self-taught potter, pioneered the production of lead-glazed earthenware incorporating life-cast reptiles, water creatures and plants. Palissy described his works in this style as rustiques figulines, or naturalistic pottery. He sold his first rustic basin to Henri II in 1556. His interest in the imitation of nature through art was shared by many artists of the period. Only a very small number of pieces are currently attributed to Palissy. This basin is an excellent example of the work of one of his followers. It has been transformed into a pond or stream supporting an abundance of animal and plant life, including a snake, fish, crayfish, a lizard and a frog. Perhaps the basin accompanied a ewer for hand washing during meals or simply served as a table ornament.