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A Battle between Caesar and Pompey: C.179-1991

An image of Broad-rimmed bowl

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


A Battle between Caesar and Pompey


Workshop: Bettisi, Leonardo di Antonio




Renaissance maiolica broad-rimmed bowl, painted in blue, yellow and orange with A Battle between Caesar and Pompey.

Earthenware, tin-glazed overall. Painted in blue, yellow, and orange. Shape approximately 59. Circular with broad sloping rim and deep well. A Battle between Caesar and Pompey. Troops of cavalry are drawn up on the right and left, the former moving forward to attack. Above, there is an oval shield charged with the arms of the Wittelsbach Dukes of Bavaria below a coronet. At the bottom of the rim is an inscription: `cavaleria di popeo simoue/cotra cesare' (Cavalry of Pompey advances against Caesar). A narrow blue band and a yellow band between two orange encircle the rim. The base is marked in brownish-orange `.DO.PI .'.


History note: Henry Scipio Reitlinger (d.1950); 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: 25.2 cm
Height: 4.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Faenza ⪼ Emilia-Romagna ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, Late
Production date: circa AD 1576


This dish bears the arms of the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria and formed part of a service which belonged to Albrecht V (1528; ruled 1550-79). The service was probably made in 1576, the date on one dish. The original extent of the service is unknown, but an inventory of 1751 mentioned 116 pieces. Most of the service remains in Munich in the Residenzmuseum, and the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. The service is decorated in compendiario (summary or sketchy) style with scenes from the Bible, classical mythology, and Roman history, The scene on this dish is titled 'cavaleria di popeo simoue/cotra cesare (cavalry of Pompey advances against Caesar), and probably represents the battle between Caesar and Pompey at Pharsalus in 48BC, described in Appian's, Civil Wars, II, 11. The Fitzwilliam has another dish from the service, C.180-1991.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, yellow, and orange)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall. Painted in blue, yellow, and orange.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: cavaleria di popeo simoue/cotra cesare
  • Location: At the bottom of the rim
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: .DO with line over O .PI with circumflex over I followed by short dash

  • Text: .DO.PI -
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.179-1991
Primary reference Number: 80721
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 6 February 2024 Last processed: Tuesday 6 February 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) "A Battle between Caesar and Pompey" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-22 11:08:55

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{{cite web|url= |title=A Battle between Caesar and Pompey |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-22 11:08:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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