Thu 18 Sep, 2003 10:03 am
Bawdy Phallic Plate Heads for Oxford
Thu Sep 18, 8:55 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - A leading British museum has paid $387,000 for a Renaissance plate which shows a male head made up entirely of phalluses.
The Italian plate is thought to have been made by ceramicist Francesco Urbini in the 16th century.
It shows a head made up of around 50 fleshy penises, wrapped round each other to form a dense, knotted whole.
The head is framed by a garland carrying the inscription: "Ogni homo me guarda come fosse una testa de cazi" (Every man looks at me as if I were a dickhead).
The phrase is still a common term of abuse in Italy and elsewhere.
Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, which has bought the plate, describes it as "one of the most extraordinary and fascinating pieces of Italian maiolica (a style of ceramic painting) in existence."
It is a rare example of bawdy Renaissance art which survived the suppression of later, more prudish, generations, it said.
The Ashmolean said the inspiration for the plate remains obscure but it was painted "presumably with an individual in mind."
Do you have a link, I'd love to have a look at the plate.