Cristina Maritano

An interlude of La Calandria in maiolica. Baldassarre Castiglione, Girolamo Genga and the Nicola d’Urbino’s workshop

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The article presents a dish in the Collezione Cerruti in Rivoli (Turin), with a Triumph of Venus, attributed to the circle of the maiolica-painter and workshop owner Nicola d’Urbino. The iconography is quite different from the usual iconography of the triumphs of Venus or Love, but is very similar to the description of an interlude played in the Ducal Palace at Urbino on 6 February 1513 during the perfomance of La Calandria, the «modern comedy» written by Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena. The setting and the interludes were precisely described by Baldassare Castiglione in a famous letter to Ludovico Canossa. It is believed that Girolamo Genga was among the artists involved by Castiglione in designing the scenery and it is possible that a drawing by him was used some years later by the painter of the Cerruti dish. In any case, the dish seems to be the only survived testimony of the first performance of La Calandria at Urbino’s court.


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