The J. Paul Getty Museum

Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha

Object Details

Title:

Basin with Deucalion and Pyrrha

Artist/Maker:

Fontana Workshop
possibly Orazio Fontana (Italian, 1510 - 1571)
or possibly Flaminio Fontana (Italian, active 1571 - 1591)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Urbino, Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 1565–1575

Medium:

Tin-glazed earthenware

Object Number:

86.DE.539

Dimensions:

6.4 × 46.4 cm (2 1/2 × 18 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

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
Provenance
acquired between 1870 and 1890 - 1900

Baron Adolphe Carl von Rothschild, Austrian, 1823 - 1900 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Baron Maurice (Edmond Charles) de Rothschild, 1900.
Source: Rare Italian Majolica, Adolphe de Rothschild Collection, Duveen Bros. Records, GRI, 960015, box 192; Collector's Files: Rothschild, Adolphe de, Duveen Bros. Stock Documentation, GRI, 2007.D.1, box 405, folders 3-5.

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.
Source: General Stock Book, 1926-1927, Duveen Bros. Records, GRI, 960015, box 176; ; Photographs: Decorative Arts: Miscellaneous, Duveen Bros. Stock Documentation, GRI, 2007.D.1, boxes 617-627.

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

Exhibitions
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
Education Resources
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