Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tonight a Lunar Eclipse

Because of his many signed, dated, and inscribed works, more is known about Francesco Xanto Avelli than about any other maiolica painter. He was a master of maiolica, the technique of painting on tin-glazed earthenware characteristic of Renaissance Italy.

Attributed to Xanto, A Roman Lion-Hunt, c.1529

He appears to have been a learned and multitalented man. In addition to his maiolica painting, Xanto wrote a series of sonnets honoring the Duke of Urbino. For his istoriato wares and their inscriptions, he used scenes from classical and contemporary literature, which he often altered to suit his compositions; he also depicted contemporary events, such as the 1527 Sack of Rome.

Attributed to Xanto, Women Bathing, 1525

Born in Rovigo in the late 1480s, Xanto moved to Urbino by 1530, the year he began to write in Urbino on his pieces. A trade dispute may have convinced the artist to start signing his plates with his full name.

Attributed to Xanto, Narcissus at the Fountain of Love, c.1525-26

According to a surviving legal document, Xanto tried to improve his position in the workshop by joining together with other employees to demand higher wages; in response, a group of workshop heads agreed to resist the employees' demands and simply not hire them without the consent of the other directors.

Xanto, The Descent of Orpheus into Hades,1532

Unlike painting on canvas, maiolica is unaffected by exposure to light, so maintains a vibrant appearance.

Xanto: Pottery-painter, poet, man of the Italian Renaissance is showing at The Wallace Collection from January 25 until April 15.

Don't forget about the Lunar Eclipse tonight, according to Cube over at The Blog, it will be a blood moon and it will not be back until 2025. Thanks Cube, I always learn something new when I visit your site. =)

Have a safe weekend folks!

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N Posted by Rain at 3/03/2007 12:18:00 PM


  • Blogger COLORADO BOB posted at 8:26 AM  
    R... I never much cared for maiolica, but these pieces are wonderful. Them being so early explains a lot. I guess I keep seeing that fish platter from the Antiques Road Show.
  • Anonymous Rav`N posted at 12:59 AM  
    sounds like a cool eclipse. Did you manage to see it?
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