(French, Limoges, 16th century)
grisaille enamel and gilt on copper
12 x 5.5 x 4.75 in
30.48 x 13.97 x 12.07 cm
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Not on view
This ewer is attributed to Jean Miette, who executed his work in grisaille--a monochromatic palette very popular in French enamels during the 16th century. It depicts the scene from Exodus of Joshua fighting Amalek, after a print by Bernard Salomon. In this story, Joshua and the Israelites battle with Amalek, while Moses climbs to the top of a hill with the staff that God had given him to part the Red Sea. While on the hilltop, God reveals to Moses that by raising his staff he could assure Israel’s victory; if he lowered it, Amalek would prevail. Hur and Aaron then assist Moses as he holds the staff over his head. Many classical figures and motifs surround the central scene of the ewer, which is itself a classicizing shape.