University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number R1991.15.1
Object Name Plate
Description Plate decorated en grisaille and in iron-red, flesh tones, and gold, with eagle head crest on the rim, bordered at the edge and in the well with spearheads, central scene of three figures sleeping beneath a tree while observed by a fourth leaning on a staff.

Traditionally, the scene has been identified as Christ discovering the Diciples asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane. The real subject, however, is taken from The Decameron (5:1) by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), and depicts Cimone as he first catches sight of Ephygenia and her companions. The doltish son of a nobleman, Cimone was soon transformed into a polished gallant by his love for the beautiful Ephygenia.

Although numerous seventeenth- and eighteenth- century depictions of this scene are known, an original source for the version shown here has not been found.
Year Range from 1740
Year Range to 1750
Material Hard-Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Possibly Decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Gift of Thomas Lee, Jr.
On View No