Bella Donna Plate
Unknown artist, Italian, Italy; Gubbio
Bella Donna Plate, 1500-1550
Earthenware with tin glaze and enamels
Diameter: 23.2 cm (9 1/8 inches)
Gift of Mr. Robert Lehman 57.302
This small bella donna (beautiful woman) plate is distinguished by blue, yellow, and ruby luster glazes. Its broad rim is decorated with molded gadroons, radiating pinwheel-fashion, and separated by floral and foliate forms. The central figure’s long hair, ointment jar, and halo identify her as Saint Mary Magdalene, a symbol of the virtue of humility. As was common during the Renaissance, she is depicted with blond hair, an indication of contemporary fashion and beauty.