Barber’s Basin (Polychrome Series)
Talavera de la Reina (Toledo), ca. 1700
Tin-glazed earthenware with polychrome decoration
Length: 40 cm, Width: 26 cm
Central Theme: Gazelle in repose
This molded Basin, intended for use by barbers when shaving clients, features a semi-circular notch on each side and an undulating rim on either end. In the center is a gazelle resting in a field rendered in green and yellow with an emerald green background. The walls of the cavetto are decorated with quarteri that are filled with small scrolls in blue, yellow and purple. The reverse is decorated with a profusion of foliage and butterflies on an emerald green background.
The Polychrome Series is the most famous of the decorative schemes found in Talavera ceramic, due in large part to the richness and sophistication of the pieces in form, colors and finishing. It is from the varied use of colors that the series derives its name. The chromatic and ornamental consistency of the Polychrome Series created a homogenous oeuvre of objects that achieved a high level of commercial success during the mid-seventeenth century.
The central themes of such pieces focus on people and animals engaged in hunting scenes in which two types of trees are employed as decorative elements: one a twisted trunk with lush foliage and the other a thin tree with undulating branches and spiral foliage. The landscapes are often completely rendered and have shrubs with large, elongated leaves. Over time, the compositions began to exhibit thicker and firmer strokes, defining the volume of forms with chiaroscuro-like shading. The coats of arms of noble houses and religious orders are also commonly seen in hunting scenes. Most these elements were drawn from engravings that were widely available throughout Europe, relying on the works of Jan Va Der Bouzonnet Streat when depicting children and on those of Stradanus and Tempesta for models of hunting scenes.
Colección Musitú, pg. 97
Gónzalez Zamora, César: Talaveras. Antiqvaria, Madrid, 2004 (382)
14 000 €