Description This plate belongs to a large set of tableware commissioned by Duke Anne de Montmorency (1493-1567) from the Durantino workshop in 1535. The subject is taken from "The Metamorphoses" by the 1st-century Roman poet Ovid. Cupid, god of erotic love, tricks the god Apollo into falling in love with Daphne, daughter of the river-god Peneus. Apollo chases the frightened nymph until, when he is about to catch her, she comes to the river of her father (depicted here) and prays to him to save her. He changes her into a laurel tree, and the devastated Apollo makes a vow forever to venerate the tree that was once Daphne. The nymph was a traditional symbol of virtue.
- The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
- Le dressoir du prince, services d'apparat à la Renaissance. Musée national de la Renaissance, Ecouen. 1995-1996.
Provenance Baron Seillière [date and mode of acquisition unknown] (?); T.B. Clarke [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [no. 609]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1916 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] In the center, between the footring, in blue: Apollo Seguita / Daphne qual se / conuerh in Luaro÷ / In botega (Maker's Mark: lowercase d crossed with a curving line moving from lower left to upper right) m° Guido / durantino in / urbino
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1916
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