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Bowl

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made in Urbino, Italy

Bowl
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This maiolica bowl was made at the Fontana Workshop in Urbino in Italy between around 1560 and 1570.

The bowl is decorated in polychrome with the story of Tobias. Tobit is seated, Tobias is touching his eyes and the Archangel Raphael in disguise stands beside the chair. Sarah and Anna (wife and mother of Tobias) half kneel beside it and to the left, in the distant countryside, Tobias and the Archangel Raphael stand outside a small building beside the river Togris.

The story of Tobias was found in the Old Testament Apocrypha used by the Alexandrian Jews. It inspired many Renaissance artists. Tobias, accompanied by the Archangel Raphael in disguise, set out on a journey to Media to collect money owed to his recently blinded father, Tobit. Whilst bathing in the river Tigris, Tobias caught an enormous miraculous fish and ate it with the angel, saving the gall, heart and liver. Having secured the money, Tobias returned home with his new wife Sarah. Upon his return he anointed his father's eyes with the gall from the miraculous fish and restored his sight. The Archangel then revealed himself to the family.

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