Italian; Venetian, Bowl, ca. 1600, Blown glass with gilt-brass mounts; 12.7 x 19.4 x 16.5 cm (5 x 7 5/8 x 6 1/2 inches), Gift of Mrs. Frank Mauran and John O. Ames, by exchange 73.060
This bowl showcases the brilliant blue color achieved by glassmakers at the zenith of Venice’s glass production. Venetians made glass from the late tenth century and were preeminent during the Renaissance. The dolphin handles and mask mounted on this bowl are both typical of the “grotesque” style, a type of ancient Roman decoration rediscovered during Renaissance excavations of ancient sites. Grotesque ornament incorporates fantastic beasts and whimsical figures within fanciful scrollwork or foliage.