Psyche's FatherI photographed this maiolica at The Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I photographed this maiolica at The Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
“Maiolica, also known as Majolica, is a type of ceramic earthenware that is covered with a tin-glaze and then decorated with colorful enamel paints,” according to AI Pro. “This term typically refers to a specific style of pottery that originated in the Renaissance period, particularly in Italy.
“The tin-glaze gives the pottery a distinctive opaque white appearance, which serves as a blank canvas for highly detailed and vibrant artwork. Maiolica pottery often features intricate designs, including floral motifs, scenes from mythology, historical events, or even everyday life. It has been admired for its beauty and continues to be cherished as a form of decorative art.”
Maiolica dates from The Renaissance and usually includes beautifully bright and vibrant colors.
In the case of this piece, The Legion's information states:
“Charger depicting Psyche's Father Consulting the Oracle, from the Fable of Psyche.”
This piece is patterned after an engraving by the Master of the Die, after Agostino Veneziano. It is Italian, Faenza, possibly from the workshop of Virgiliotto Calamella (ca. 1550-1570).
The Legion provides more information about Maiolica:
“Istoriato, story-painting, designates highly decorative pieces of maiolica depicting historical, Biblical or mythological scenes. These richly painted pieces are often inspired by graphic sources, as in the charger here showing the Fable of Pysche, and were made purely for display.”
I photographed it on The Legion's lower level. Although some visitors dine in the cafe on that level, and some tour special exhibits there, many seem to miss the gallery featuring pottery, porcelain and other artworks.
That's a real shame because the gallery is filled with beauty.