Bella donna bowl inscribed “Mansueta”
Castel Durante, Italian, Bella donna bowl inscribed “Mansueta”, ca. 1535-1540, Tin-glazed earthenware; Diameter: 22.5 cm (8 7/8 inches), Gift of Mrs. Jesse H. Metcalf 46.391
Dishes featuring idealized portraits of beautiful women (belle donne) were given by suitors to compliment the young women they courted. In this bowl, a ribbon describes the lady’s character as gentle (mansueta).