University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number R1967.1.131
Object Name Plate
Description Plate decorated en grisaille and in iron-red, flesh tones, and gold, with shell-and scroll border on the rim, spearheads at the well, and central scene of two figures embracing beneath a canopy by a river with buildings beyond and on the opposite shore.

This scene of an amorous young couple is a representation of Vertumnus and Pomona, a subject made popular by Ovid in the Metamorphoses. To woo Pamona, Vertumnus assumed many forms, including those of a reaper, herdsman, and fisherman. Finally winning her confidence in the guise of a harmless old woman, Vertumnus reveals himself to Pomona in all his radiant youth.

A similarly composed scene, also found on export ware, illustrates the biblical account (Genesis 38) of the seduction of Judah by Tamar, who disguises herself as a harlot.

As rendered by the Chinese artist, the two scenes are nearly the same; only the features and costumes of the figures distinguish them as separate representations of romantic seduction. ALthough a direct source has not been found for either scene, both subjects are depicted by Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651).
Year Range from 1745
Year Range to 1755
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, China
Collection The Reeves Center
Collector Euchlin and Louise Herreshoff Reeves (R1967.1)
On View No