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The Triumph of Bacchus: C.220-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Triumph of Bacchus


Maker: Unidentified Urbino potter (Possibly)
Maker: Unidentified Venetian pottery (Possibly)
Maker: Unidentified Rimini potter (Perhaps)
Etcher: Franco, Battista




Renaissance maiolica shallow bowl, painted in polychrome with The Triumph of Bacchus.

Shallow bowl. Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige, thinly applied, and speckled. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.
Circular with inverted scalloped rim of thirty-two arcs, deep sides moulded with gadroons, and slightly convex centre. The remains of the foot have been ground level.
The Triumph of Bacchus. Bacchus and Pan sit side by side beneath a tree bearing bunches of grapes. Bacchus holds a lyre in his right hand, and Pan holds up a drinking bowl in his left hand and rests his left leg on a goat. A bacchante clasping a tambourine in both hands over her head, dances towards the left. In the foreground there is grass and a stony path; in the background, the sea, a tree, distant hills and sky. The rim is yellow. On the back there are single yellow bands round the junction of the dish and foot and just below the rim.


History note: This is probably the dish purchased by Reitlinger from Alfred Spero on 31 October 1934 and which he recorded in his purchases notebook as 'Urbino (?) plate w. Silenus, Centaur & attendant under a vine', the 'Centaur' presumably being a slip for Pan; H.S. Reitlinger; the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 24.1 cm
Height: 5.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy
  • Venice ⪼ Italy
  • Rimini ⪼ Emilia-Romagna ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, second half#
Circa 1560 CE - 1580 CE


This scene on this shallow fluted bowl (crespina) reproduces the central figures from an etching of a Bacchanal by the Venetian artist, Battista Franco (c. 1510-6), after Giuliano Romano (Bartsch, XVI, p. 41, no. 133).This is reproduced more fully on a differently moulded bowl in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, which has the title `Triofe di baccho' painted within the footring. Another bowl with sixteen scallops round the edge, decorated with the same design and like the Fitzwilliam’s lacking the two putti on the left, was sold by Cambi ,Milan on 25 October 2016, lot 61. The bowls have been attributed to Urbino or Venice and tentatively to Rimini.

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


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige, thinly applied, and speckled. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular stick-on label with serrated edge

  • Text: 535/4
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in pencil
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.220-1991
Primary reference Number: 73230
Packing number: EURCER 368
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 13 February 2024 Last processed: Tuesday 13 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Triumph of Bacchus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-14 09:38:53

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Triumph of Bacchus |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-14 09:38:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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