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An impressive Italian maiolica dish depicting a fight between Triton (right) and a centaur (left), using fish to battle eachother.
A putto is resting on the back of the centaur. Greek mythology knew a relationship between Triton and putti, so the winged boy may have been at the center of the fight.
Two fish are depicted on the foreground. The very straight horizon divides the water mass from the land, where a deep view with a landscape and castles, a forested mountain and a group of clouds complete the dish.
Dated 1540 to the back and inscribed:
"Cremona fecit fare a dia 9 agosto 1540 i chafa ☆ maestro Aeneno (?) Bocalar (?)"
A modest translation could be:
"Ordered by Cremona on the 9th of August 1540 in Cafagiolo by (?) maestro (?) Aeneno (?) Bocalar (?)"
Size: 40,5 cm
Condition: Minor wear to the rim, with typical age-related chips. One large U-shaped area broken off, starting at around 5 o'clock, extending upwards towards the center of the cavetto and moving to the left above the bottom knee of the centaur. From there slightly directed upwards and moving horizontally towards the edge of the dish, at around 8 o'clock. This crack also extends towards the center where it extends into one horizontal crack, not very apparent, towards the point where the fish comes out of the triton's hand, and another horizontal towards the lower left part of the centaur's beard. The cracks with inpainting and a small area of glaze loss with inpainting. Traces of a removed staple repair, also on the back, those areas now filled and recolored.
Provenance: Ex-Coll. Van Herck, Antwerp
Special thanks to profs. Timothy Wilson and Michael Brody for their help in identifying this dish.
See: G. Corza, Angiolo Fanfani: La maiolica da Cafaggiolo, for a dish with a similar signature and of the same dimensions (nr. 143), in the Musée de Cluny.