Central part of a dish showing the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden
Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
Museum no. 198-1887
The decorative vocabulary of maiolica or tin-glazed pottery reached its peak between the late 15th and the mid 16th century. The entire surface of a dish or a vessel could be covered with highly colourful narrative subjects. The scene in the centre of this dish, depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, is an example of this style of painting called istoriato (story painting) that started in Italy at the beginning of the 16th century. During this period potters produced wares of artistic sophistication and variety never seen before; these achieved a high status amongst some of the grandest Renaissance patrons who commissioned large istoriato table services to use and display in their homes.