(Italian, c. 1486–1527)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1925.1231
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XIV.364.490 ; Le Blanc II.112.36 ; Pass. VI.71.58
Prints helped disseminate design ideas and establish a taste for decorative objects and styles, especially when endorsed with royal insignia. Adapted from Greek architecture, two caryatids—draped female figures used as pillars—hold aloft an ornamental incense burner designed by Raphael about 1515–20 for King François I (reigned 1515–1547). The lily-shaped fleurs-de-lis on its lid allude to the French monarchy. The salamanders adorning the side of the vessel specifically refer to François I, who chose this amphibian as his personal emblem. According to legend, salamanders could survive fire, making them even more meaningful on a burner.
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