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Scylla, Cupid and four Nymphs bathing: C.83-1961

An image of Bowl with broad rim

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Scylla, Cupid and four Nymphs bathing


Painter: Avelli, Francesco Xanto




Maiolica bowl with broad rim, painted in polychrome with Scylla, Cupid and four Nymphs bathing.

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.
Shape 57, the underside of the rim moulded with three shallow concentric grooves. Circular with a broad, almost flat rim and small, deep well.
Scylla, Cupid and four Nymphs bathing. On the right, Scylla reclines on a bank beside a massive rock formation. She holds a wand in her right hand. On the left, four nymphs holding long horns stand in a pool. Above, Cupid, holding a flaming torch, flies towards Scylla. In the foreground there is grass; in the background, landscape with a town and mountains. The outer edge is yellow. The back is inscribed in the middle in dark blue: `Di C . 'de et Scilla/Il parlameto./fabula y' (Of Cupid and Scilla The conversation [?]. fable y).


History note: Unknown

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 26.2 cm
Height: 3.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1960) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


16th Century
Circa 1528 CE - 1531 CE


Although unsigned, this dish can be attributed to Xanto on the basis of style, the literary and printed sources used, and handwriting

The figures were derived from two printed sources. Scylla was copied from the Muse Euterpe in the engraving of Parnassus by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael, the ultimate source for which was the antique marble Ariadne in the Vatican, The Cupid is either a reversed and upside-down version of the lower of two putti on the right of the same print or the middle putto of three on the other side. The four nymphs were drawn from Muses on the left of the Contest between the Muses and the Pierides engraved by G.G. Caraglio after Rosso Fiorentino.

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 : Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Di C . 'de et Scilla/Il parlameto./fabula y
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in dark blue

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.83-1961
Primary reference Number: 76197
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 24 January 2019 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Scylla, Cupid and four Nymphs bathing" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-26 13:58:24

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