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Snake-Handled Vase with Scenes from Genesis
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Snake-Handled Vase with Scenes from Genesis

Description Provenance Credit
Description The scenes rendered on the front and back of this vase were taken from woodcuts by the French engraver Bernard Salomon (1506-1561 for a popular illustrated Bible (1553), and represent Noah offering burnt offerings to the Lord (Genesis 8: 15-22), and God speaking to Noah and his sons (Genesis 9:8-17). The two scenes are framed with strap work, a popular decorative system among Renaissance maiolica workshops that imitates cut and folded leather. The Classical figures, garlands, and masks, painted in blue, copper- and olive-green, yellow, ochre, dark manganese, black, and opaque white are representative of the ‘grotesque’ style, which was influenced by the elaborate and fanciful motifs that decorated the walls of the Roman palace belonging to Emperor Nero (37-68 AD), rediscovered during the Renaissance period. “Grotesque” designs, as well as the snake handles present on this vase are characteristic of the maiolica wares produced by the Patanazzi family. To see more works by the Patanazzi workshop, click on the name in the creator field; for the pair to this snake-handled vase, see 48.1369; for more on ‘maiolica’ in general, see 48.1336.
Provenance William (J. L.), 7th Earl Poulette [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; J. Seligmann, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, Nov. 6, 1908, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1908

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ca. 1580-1600 (Renaissance)
earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica)
Accession Number
26 x 16 9/16 in. (66 x 42 cm)


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