Pedestal plate with engorged rim; high foot very everted ring shaped. Blue majolica in two tones enriched by white highlight: on the main surface the historiated decoration depicting the “Allegoria della Conoscenza”; on the rear, blue painted circles on charming background. White majolica foot.
H. cm. 6,8; Ø cm. 27;
Cond.: very good, intact.
Venice, Master Lodovico, middle of XVI century
On the pedestal plate there is the depiction of a people near an old man, a philosopher and master who is represented suggesting to a young deferential man a partially open door of rich building. The master shows to his disciple the way to the knowledge, which necessary starts unpretentiously from the bottom to reach the high top. The philosophy allegory as life knowledge reminds to Tabula Cebetis, a human essay of the Theban philosopher Cebeto (I century BC). This essay spread during the Middle Age, in particular in Flemish and French manuscripts. In particular, the iconography recalls the Tabula Cebetis of Alberici manuscript, dated to 1507 and dedicated to the King Henry VII of England, but probably never gave to him. On the F2v sheet, the strip mentions: In the temple of Saturn, an old man interprets the tablet to Cebes and his companions. (Br. Lib., Arundel Ms 317). The painter of this incredible and rare iconography of human life, realized on a blue shades majolica, could have a specific commission. His work has a well-balanced layout with an interesting architecture, replicated the Renaissance dwellings, reproduced in an idealized summa. The artist is the master Lodovico, active in Venice, in San Paul district, a place where the cobalt came from the East through commercial trade, symbol of the best Venetian majolica. His artworks are extremely rare and several example are preserved in important museums. One example is the “Leda and the swan” plate, Nuremberg National Museum, as the one with the “Philosopher” of Fanfani Donation in Faenza. Sometimes this kind of majolica is assigned to the master Jacomo from Pesaro, painter of same great charm.
[References: S. Glaser, Majolika, Nürberg, 2000, n. 203; C. Ravanelli Guidotti, La donazione Angiolo Fanfani, Faenza 1990, n.149; G. Gardelli, ITALIKA, Faenza 1999, n.6]