Iron plate Schaugericht
Italy ca 1680
D 38 cm

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The outstanding plate present, made in Italy around 1680, was chased from a single piece of iron, resulting in an outstanding high relief that shows an impressive plasticity with nuanced details.
A melon, the center of the composition, is surrounded by grapes, apples, figs, walnuts, cherries, pears and quince. The fine but naturalistic structures of the fruit, which are accentuated by a nuanced bluing of the surface, contrast with the geometrical border.
Design and layout of the artwork refer to so-called "Schauplatten" or "Schaugerichte", artworks imitating dishes, some of which deceptively imitate both domestic and exotic fruits, vegetables and animals. As trompe-l'œil they come from a tradition of elaborately staged dishes to decorate festive tables and entertain guests, who were often subject to this optical illusion.
Today, the elaborate faience plates of the 18th century, such as those produced by the famous French manufacturer in Sceaux, are particularly well-known. This plate, which was made a little earlier, impresses with it's artistic quality and uncommon material. Here, instead of an optical illusion, the material, iron, plays the major part due to its individual aesthetic.

Published in: Raum für Objekte - Ariane Laue Kunsthandel, Kat.VI - No. 14, Munich 2019