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The Judgement of Paris: C.86-1961

An image of Dish

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Judgement of Paris


Painter: Avelli, Francesco Xanto
Printmaker: Raimondi, Marcantonio (After)
Printmaker: Caraglio, Giovanni Giacomo (After)


  • Dish
  • shallow dish on low foot



Maiolica shallow dish on low foot. Painted in polychrome with The Judgement of Paris.

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse beige and speckled. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, stone, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white. Shape 78 with a groove around the edge of the foot. Circular with shallow upturned sides and flat centre, standing on a low foot.
The Judgement of Paris. Venus, Juno and Minerva stand beside a gnarled tree on the left, accompanied by Cupid who tugs at Venus' drapery as she extends her left arm to receive the apple of discord from Paris, seated at the base of a rocky cliff on the right. He holds a crook upside down in his left hand and offers Venus the apple with his right. In the foreground there is grass and a tree stump; in the background, the sea shore and a hill town. Suspended from the branch of a tree growing out of the rocks above Paris, there is a shield of Tuscan form bearing the arms vert, a fess or, a chief party per pale gules (shown orange) and argent two rosettes counterchanged flanked by `Eli:' and `PYA'. The edge is yellow. The reverse is inscribed in dark blue near the edge with 'IVDITIVM PARIDIS.MANET ALTA MENTE REPOSITVM' and in the centre '.1531.Per cui Troia superba fu/combusta./Favola./Fra(n)cesco Xanto,Avelli da/Rovigo,i Urbino/pi(n)se.


History note: For the first two possible owners, see Documentation, Poole, 2003, p. 94. Perhaps Girolamo Talpa (1654-1739), San Severino (Marche), and sold by him in 1712 to Cardinal Filippo Antonio Gualtieri (1670-1728); perhaps Charles Jarvis or Jervas (1675-1739) or Sir Andrew Fountaine (1676-1753); by descent to Andrew Fountaine IV; his heir; Christie's, 16 June 1884, Catalogue of the celebrated Fountaine collection of majolika, Henry II ware, Palissy ware, Nevers ware, Limoges enamels . . ., removed from Narford Hall, Norfolk, lot 175; M. Colnaghi. Stephenson Clarke; Louis C.G. Clarke.

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 26.0 cm
Height: 5.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1961) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


16th Century, second quarter#
Production date: circa AD 1531 : dated


The figures were derived from three engraved sources, all used repeatedly by Xanto. The goddesses were adapted from Muses in the Contest between the Muses and the Pierides by G.G. Caraglio after Rosso Fiorentino. Paris was adapted from Apollo in Parnassus by Marcantonio after Raphael. Cupid may be a reversed image of the one in the Judgement of Paris by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

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

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

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

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: .1531./Per cui Troia superba fu/combusta/.favola./Fracesco Xanto, Avelli da/Rovigo,i Urbino/Pise.
  • Location: On reverse in middle
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in dark blue
  • Type: Inscription
  • Location: Reverse, on the sides
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: square

  • Text: 175/An Urbino Dish the/Judgement of Paris, landscape/and buildings, arms/suspended from a tree,/description & date 1531/on back, by F. Xanto -/10 1/4in./Signed Fracesco Xanto/Avelli da Rovigo, Urbino/£57.
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black ink
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 'af' and '30'
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Incised

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.86-1961
Primary reference Number: 76242
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 24 January 2019 Last processed: Tuesday 5 March 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Judgement of Paris" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-23 02:51:31

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