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Plate with St Luke with his emblem, the bull

Guido di Merlino

Urbino, 1543 (diameter)

tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

Inscribed on the reverse, 1543 San Luca in Urbin P:teo Fco.; the last two words are unclear. The subject is St Luke the Evangelist with a bull, his traditional emblem in medieval iconography. Other pieces marked in the same handwriting are in the Ashmolean (see WA1888.CDEF.C437), the Victoria & Albert Museum, and at Erddig in Wales, are dated 1543 and marked with a letter P. The V & A plate is apparently not the work of this painter but rather by Francesco Durantino (see WA1888.CDEF.C451), so the two painters were perhaps active in the same workshop. Francesco is known to have been working in 1543 in the workshop of Guido di Merlino, and it may be that this piece also comes from there. Both the P on the other plates and the hard-to-decipher inscription on this plate are likely to be signatures of the painter.

Giuliana Gardelli has suggested an attribution to the painter Federico di Giovanni Antonio of Urbino. An alternative hypothesis is that they are by Paolo di Marino, a painter documented as working for Guido di Merlino in Urbino in 1537 and 1540.

Presented by C. D. E. Fortnum, 1888.  WA1888.CDEF.C450

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