Description This basin shows the Biblical story from Exodus of the Israelites gathering Manna while deserted in the wilderness. Manna rains down from the cloud in the upper center of the plate, as figures stand below to gather what has fallen. Moses stands on the right with his rod raised. The back of the basin is stained with green and ornamented with four yellow-ochre circles; in the center, in blue, is the inscription “Da Dio pioue la Mana ϼ gli =/ ebrej.” This ewer basin may have been produced in France at Lyons by Italian potters trained in Urbino. The demand for Italian maiolica spread to other European countries by the late sixteenth century, and some Italian potters found it profitable to move their workshops to France. This ewer basin may have been produced in Lyons, an important city on the route between Italy and Paris. The composition is derived from a popular illustrated Bible printed in Lyons during the mid-sixteenth century, and is typical of “istoriato” (story telling) wares, which depicted scenes from Classical and Biblical narratives. It is much more likely that a workshop operating in France would use a French source. To see this Biblical story illustrated on a separate example of maiolica, see 48.1514; for other examples of Italian renaissance ewer basins, see 48.2112, 48.1510, 48.1322, 48.1501, 48.1320, 48.1203, 48.1509, and 48.1133; for more on “istoriato” wares, see 48.1487; for general information on “maiolica”, see 48.1336.
Provenance H. Wencke Collection, Hamburg [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [no. 105 (?)]; J. Seligmann, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, May 11, 1908, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] On the back, between the footring, in blue: Da Dio pioue la Mana p gli = / èbrej. ; [Previous Collection inv. no.] 105.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1908
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