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Citrine quartz vase in the shape of an oil lamp
Workshop of the Miseroni; Miseroni, Dionisio (?); Miseroni, Ottavio (?)
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Workshop of the Miseroni
Miseroni, Dionisio (?)
Miseroni, Ottavio (?)

Citrine quartz vase in the shape of an oil lamp

1600 - 1630. Citrine, Enamel, Gold

This vessel, described as a “velón” or oil lamp in the 1746 inventory of La Granja de San Ildefonso, is one of the few pieces in the Dauphin’s Treasure in their original state. It is made up of three pieces of citrine quartz and one, the finial, of smoky quartz, linked by five mounts and two gold handles in black enamel. On the egg-shaped body are four protrusions. Inserted on the smaller two are scrolls forming the handles, while the other two larger ones end in enamelled gold spouts. The cover, with a slightly flared profile, is decorated with gadroons, as is the foot. On the finial, a gold ring supports a rounded baluster. The body is decorated with deeply cut waves and volutes. Together with the tone of the quartz and the form of the vessel, this is suggestive of smoke curling inside an oil lamp.

On this piece, the usual decorative scenes have disappeared. All that remains is form and matter in order to create the visual illusion of an oil lamp whose flame has just gone out. The strong lines of this piece contrast with the delicacy of the inlaid enamel of its principal mounts, applied on finely scratched surfaces. The motifs arranged vertically are based on the Renaissance candelieri, through here reinterpreted after the fashion for so-called silhouettes, at its height from 1610 to 1620, consisting of designs for extremely fine scroll patterns ending in pointed forms, and published for execution in monochrome enamel, as seen in the repertories of Drüsse, Saur, Hurtu and others, printed in the first third of the 17th century. In 2001, Arbeteta attributed the vessel to Dionysio Miseroni, the last great stonecutter of the Milanese tradition, possibly in collaboration with his father Ottavio, the head of the workshop that supplied numerous pieces to Rudolf II. In 2016, the same scholar re-examined the possibility that the piece might be an early but assured work by the son. Although the design of the mount argues against a later date for the vessel, it greatly resembles works by Dionysio in his period of artistic maturity between 1640 and 1650, when this type of work in gold had already gone out of fashion. Ottavio had meanwhile explored the possibilities of different materials and colours. The transition from the figurative to the abstract, and from the purity of rock crystal to a less frequently used material like quartz in its various tonalities, was the swan song of this Milanese family business. Its constant and abundant use was accentuated in Dionysio’s work in keeping with the stylistic evolution of the Prague School, as studied by Distelberger. This is appreciable in numerous vessels in Vienna that are attributed to him, many of them decorated with undulating lines and parallel volutes. Ottavio’s development towards organic and abstract forms thus continued with his son, who made pure geometry out of traditional motifs, such as the tulip petals cut on a vessel in the Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, inv. 1661.

Original state: Juan Laurent y Minier, “Vase, en cristal de roche taillé et gravé, montures d’or et émail, XVIIe siècle, règne de Henri IV”, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/40 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
O000096
Author
Workshop of the Miseroni; Miseroni, Dionisio (?); Miseroni, Ottavio (?)
Title
Citrine quartz vase in the shape of an oil lamp
Date
1600 - 1630
Technique
Enamelled; Carved; Engraved
Medium
Citrine; Enamel; Gold
Dimension
Height: 13.8 cm.; Width: 14.7 cm.; Base/bottom: 11.2 cm.; Weight: 562 g.; Ancho base: 5 cm.; Bottom of the base: 5.7 cm.
Series
Tesoro del Delfín
Provenance
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 158.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, El tesoro del Delfín: alhajas de Felipe V recibidas por herencia de su padre Luis, Gran Delfín de Francia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 307,308.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, 'Taller de los Miseroni, Ottavio (?) Dionysio (?). Vaso en forma de velón' En:, Arte transparente. La talla del cristal en el Renacimiento milanés., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 144-147 n.20.

Azcue Brea,L. Simal López,M. Cardito,Y., 'La participación de piezas del Tesoro del Delfín del Museo del Pradoen la Exposición Histórico-Natural y Etnográfica' En:, Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, 2017, pp. 295-308 https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/libro?codigo=705205.

Arbeteta, L. Azcue, L., El Tesoro del Delfín, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, 2018.

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 104.
Vaso con su pie, tapa de cristal de roca, hechura de velon

Exhibitions +

Arte Transparente. Obras maestras de la talla del cristal de roca en el Renacimiento milanés.
Madrid
13.10.2015 - 10.01.2016

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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