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Apothecary Jar with Two Female Busts
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Apothecary Jar with Two Female Busts

Description Provenance Credit
Description On either side of this apothecary jar are loosely painted female busts. The busts are surrounded by a design of fruit, foliage, and flowers, painted on a blue background. Unlike many other apothecary jars produced in the second half of the sixteenth century, this jar does not have the name of the drug painted into the design. Instead, it was a stock jar and used as necessary, and there was probably a small tag inside of the jar, attached with wax to a parchment lid that identified the drug. Maiolica apothecary jars were very important items in Renaissance pharmacies; they were prominently displayed on pharmacy shelves. Their presence and artistic quality would suggest both an orderly business environment and prosperity, potentially promoting the pharmacy’s reputation. This apothecary jar was made by the workshop of Domenico da Venezia, a maiolica painter in Venice. It is painted in blue, copper-green, ochre, yellow, manganese, olive-grey, and opaque white, and the bulbous shape and loosely executed busts are typical of the prodigious output of Maestro Domenico's workshop. For another example of an apothecary jar, see 48.1488; for more information on “maiolica” see 48.1336.
Provenance T. B. Clarke [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1560-1570 (Renaissance)
earthenware with tin glaze (maiolica)
Accession Number
9 1/16 x 4 in. (23 x 10.2 cm)

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