Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha

Object Details

Title:

Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha

Artist/Maker(s):

Fontana Workshop

possibly Orazio Fontana (Italian, 1510 - 1571)

or possibly Flaminio Fontana (Italian, active 1571 - 1591)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Urbino, Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1565 - 1575

Medium:

Tin-glazed earthenware

Dimensions:

6.4 x 46.4 cm (2 1/2 x 18 1/4 in.)

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Filled with scented water, basins of this type were offered to dining guests for washing their hands between the courses of a meal. This shallow and splendidly painted example, however, was probably used for display.

The central scene tells the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha from Ovid's Metamorphoses. According to the legend, this husband and wife renewed the human race after a devastating flood by casting stones behind them. The stones assumed human form when they struck the earth.

Orazio Fontana developed a new type of maiolica decoration inspired by Raphael's frescoed rooms in the Vatican, which in turn were inspired by ancient Roman wall paintings. Known as grotesque motifs, these elegant and fantastic embellishments began to cover increasingly large areas of his work until they dominated the decoration, as on this basin.

Provenance
acquired between 1870 and 1890 - 1900

Baron Adolphe (Carl) de Rothschild, Austrian, 1823 - 1900 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Baron Maurice (Edmond Charles) de Rothschild, 1900.

1900 - 1913/14

Baron Maurice (Edmond Charles) de Rothschild, Austrian, 1881 - 1957 (Paris, France), sold to Duveen Brothers, 1913/1914.

1913/14 - 1965

Duveen Brothers, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to Norton Simon, March 1965.

1965 - 1971

Norton Simon, American, 1907 - 1993 (Los Angeles, California) [sold, Parke-Bernet, New York, 1971, lot 81.]

- 1986

Private Collection (Stuttgart, Germany) [sold, Reimann and Monatsberger, Stuttgart, January 1986.]

1986

Alain Moatti (Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.

Exhibitions
Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection (March 5 to May 17, 1987)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (Los Angeles), March 5 to May 17, 1987
Bibliography

Antiquitäten-Zeitung 25 (1985), p. 611.

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), p. 216, no. 114.

Hess, Catherine. Italian Maiolica: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 112-115, no. 34.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 206.

Mariaux, Pierre-Alain. La majolique: La faïence italienne et son décor dans les collections suisses, XV- XVIII siècles, exh. cat. (Geneva: Musée Historique de Lausanne, February 10-May 28, 1995), p. 130.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 243, ill.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 20-21, no. 13.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 243, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), no. 373.

Hess, Catherine. Italian Ceramics: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), pp. 192-97, no. 35.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Ceramics: A Vessel into History–Lesson 1

In this visual arts lesson students develop criteria for value and meaning of ceramic vessels and create a timeline to place objects in history.

Visual Arts

9-12

Two-Part Lesson

Ceramics: A Vessel into History–Lesson 2

Lesson plans exploring ceramic vessels. Students discuss function, historic context, and create their own clay vessels.

Visual Arts

9-12

Two-Part Lesson

Ceramics: A Vessel into History–Lesson 3

Lesson plans exploring ceramic vessels. Students discuss function, historic context, and create their own clay vessels.

Visual Arts

9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson

Ceramics: A Vessel into History–Lesson 4

Lesson plans exploring ceramic vessels. Students discuss function, historic context, and create their own clay vessels.

Visual Arts

9-12

Single Class Lesson

Related Media
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    Audio: Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha (Highlights)
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    Audio: Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha (Descriptions)