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Bottle with medallions and flowering branches

Turkey, “Iznik”, c. 1535-45
Stonepaste, underglaze painting over a slip coating; silver-copper alloy (?) and coral pearl mount
H. 32.6 cm; Max. Diam. 17.4 cm
Musée du Louvre, Musée des Arts décoratifs deposit, acquired 1899, former Mrs Vve Stora Collection
Ucad 9142

During the second quarter of the sixteenth century, Iznik ceramic wares marked a renewal of the repertoire at odds with the aesthetics of the “Baba Nakkas” potteries. A figurative thematic register (flowers, boats, animals) emerged here, including a selection of floral motifs (tulips, carnations and hyacinths and flowering stems) of still modest proportions. During this period, which N. Atasoy and J. Raby have termed the “Potters’ style”, cobalt blue and turquoise are the dominant hues.
On this bottle with its decoration arranged in wide registers and small horizontal bands, “whipped” cobalt blue is used as ground color. Standing out in reserve on the two main registers are a series of twin stems with regular flowerets emerging from a tuft of leaves. In a symmetrical movement they frame a turquoise medallion adorned with arabesque scrolling stems similar to the medallions in illuminated manuscripts.
This piece is attached to a sub-group of the “Potters’ style” characterized by a decoration of flowering stems on a cobalt blue ground and combined with medallions or mandorlas with a turquoise ground. Its form is also close to a group of water bottles (sürahi) with long necks and pear-shaped bodies, averaging a height of forty centimeters.

Bottle with medallions and flowering branches
Bottle with medallions and flowering branches
Ucad 9142
© RMN / Berizzi