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A museum gift jug

In the art of metalworking, pitchers are important ornamental objects of Renaissance goldsmithing. The elegant silhouette of this masterpiece reminds one of the models exhibited in the Renaissance Museum in Ecouen. Comparable pitchers can be found in numerous important museums and collections worldwide.

Artists such as Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/1508-85) and François Briot (c. 1545-1616) were able to create ornaments and reliefs on goldsmith, silver, bronze and pewter castings with unprecedented mastery. The Temperantia bowl in the Louvre, made by Francois Briot, on which delicate arabesques and grotesques entwine around mythological pictorial scenes, is an example of this. Comparable jugs and bowls are also on display in N.Y. at the Metropolitan Museum or at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Museum gift jug from Francois Briot

As a utilitarian object and a work of art, the jug is the work of goldsmiths, engravers and medalists. Mannerism-inspired decorations cover this elegantly shaped object body. Ram heads, leaves and rocailles, ribbons, wings, and horned animal heads, decorate the body. In the center a coat of arms medallion. A ram’s head with pointed horns also stands out under the beak. The expressive handle, in the form of a dragon grasping a snake and ending in a mannerist maskeron in high relief characterizes this museum gift jug!

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