The Triumph of Galatea
  • Dish
  • The Triumph of Galatea
  • Attributed to Léonard Limosin (c. 1505 - c. 1576) , Possibly
  • Attributed to Pierre Pénicaud (before 1542 - after 1590), Possibly
  • Limoges, France
  • Date: c. 1560 (dish)
    probably 1874 (case)
  • Medium: On an eliptical copper dishwith concave well, cavetto and broad rim, The Triumph of Galatea is depicted in grisaille enamel, with flesh tones, and with enlevage and gilding.
  • Length: 44.2 cm, Dish
  • Width: 32.4 cm, Dish
  • Weight: 1204.3 g, Dish
  • Height: 4.2 cm, Dish
  • Inv: C587
  • Location: Sixteenth Century Gallery
Copy and paste the URL below to share this page:
Further Reading
  • This dish testifies to the Renaissance fascination with the culture of Classical Antiquity. It depicts the Triumph of Galatea, the Sicilian sea-nymph whose story was told by the Roman writer Ovid in his book, Metamorphoses. The compositional source for the scene is an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael’s fresco in the Galatea Loggia of the Villa Farnesina in Rome, painted in 1511–12. The cartouches on the front rim contain gilt portrait busts and scenes, recalling engraved gems from Antiquity and their Renaissance counterparts. The overall decoration of the dish encapsulates some key features of the Fontainebleau School style. These are the combination of a subject from Classical mythology with a border of elongated nudes, cartouches, strap work and fruit, reminiscent of the stucco-framed frescoes produced for François I at Fontainebleau in the 1540s and popularized through prints. Elements of the decoration seem also to have been inspired by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau’s designs that were also disseminated through prints.

    The dish does not have a maker’s mark. However, it is attributed to Léonard Limosin or Pierre Pénicaud because the superb quality of the delineation of the figures and the exceptionally detailed and atmospheric gilding, together with compositional and stylistic components of the decoration, find close parallels in their work.