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Hercules and Omphale with Cupid: C.213-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Hercules and Omphale with Cupid


Probably Unknown (Maker)


Renaissance maiolica dish, painted in polychrome with Hercules and Omphale with Cupid.

Dish. Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse unevenly applied and tinged with greyish-green. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.
Shape approximately 59, but with wider, shallower well. Circular with sloping rim and wide shallow well, standing on a footring.
Hercules and Omphale with Cupid. Hercules sits in front of a rock on the left. He has a distaff under his left arm and holds a spindle in his right hand. Cupid, holding a bow, stands between him and Omphale who approaches from the right. In the foreground there is grass and a stony path, to the right, a tree, and in the background, hills and buildings. A narrow blue band and a wider yellow band encircle the rim. On the back, `ercole e dianira' is inscribed in the middle in blue, and there are yellow bands round the shoulder, near the rim, and on the edge.


History note: Probably purchased in May 1925 from Robinson & Fisher, London, by H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger, 1950; transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 1991

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 25.5 cm
Height: 4.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy
  • Venice ⪼ The Veneto ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1991-04-29) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


Late 16th Century
Circa 1570 CE - 1590 CE


Attribution uncertain, probably made in Urbino or Venice

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white)

Materials used in production

Tin-glaze Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse unevenly applied and tinged with greyish-green. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: heraldic seal consisting of a shield charged with three six-pointed stars one above the other, with an illegible crest above

  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Red wax
  • Type: Seal
  • Text: ercole e dianira
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.213-1991
Primary reference Number: 73150
Packing number: EURCER 690
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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