Plate with Relief Decoration

Object Details

Title:

Plate with Relief Decoration

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place(s):

Eastern Mediterranean (Place created)

Date:

500 - 600

Medium:

Silver with gilding

Dimensions:

41.3 cm (16 1/4 in.)

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Shown seated in a rocky landscape at the edge of the sea, which teems with marine life, an old fisherman takes a fish off his hook. His earlier catch spills forth from baskets and two fish hang in the background. The rim of the plate is gold, and details of the scene are gilded to create color contrasts with the silver background.

Although the Roman Empire was decidedly Christian by the 500s A.D., this period saw a revival of interest in themes and styles drawn from pagan art, specifically that of the Hellenistic period. Both the interesting contrast of the humble scene on such a luxurious object and the coloristic use of the gold are typical of Hellenistic tastes. Silver plates were decorative luxury items made for wealthy and influential patrons in Late Roman society.

Provenance
- 1983

Galerie Nefer (Zurich, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Bibliography

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 62.

Cutler, Anthony. "The Disputa Plate in the J. Paul Getty Museum and its Cinquecento Context," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 18 (1990), pp. 5-32. fig. 1.

Scott, David A. "A Technical and Analytical Study of Two Silver Plates in the J. Paul Getty Museum," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 18 (1990), pp. 33-52. figs. 5-6, 9-13.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 59.

Buller, Frederick. "The Earliest Fishing Reel: A New Perspective," The American Fly Fisher 23, 3 (Summer 1997), pp. 14-18. figs. 4, 6-7.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 125.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 203.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 212.