An Urbino maiolica two-handled vase, circa 1570.

The vase is painted with the mythical scene of the god Apollo pursuing Daphne, the daughter of Peneus, a river god. She is in the process of changing into a laurel bush, her arms sprouting branches and her feet roots, in order to escape his amorous attentions. The reverse of the vase is painted with a different view of the same subject, as Peneus surveys the scene, which is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses; a favourite source for Italian maiolica painters throughout the 16th Century. The double snake handles, which have been restored, emerge from bearded grotesque masks  and the base is a wooden replacement of the original, 50.5cm. high.


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