Biblical plaque with the crucifixion in 'petit feu'.
The contoured, oval plaque has a profiled edge and is multi coloured painted in 'petit feu' technique. Depicted is the biblical theme of the crucifixion of Christ. On the left is Christ flanked by the praying John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary and on the right the kneeling Mary Magdalene with her loose hair - a reference to her former, sinful lifestyle. In the foreground an ointment pot, her attribute. At the top of the T-shaped cross a plate with the word 'INRI'. It is an abbreviation of the Latin 'Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum', meaning 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". The profiled edge is painted around with an alternating pattern of curls and leaves.
Dimensions: length 38 cm, width 31 cm.
Condition: edge wear, old restoration in the middle of the left edge, the glaze is crackled.
A similar blue-white Delft plaque is depicted in Aronson (2012, pp. 78-79, no. 43). A cartouche-shaped plaque with a purple painting of the crucifixion of Christ with only a praying Mary Magdalene is depicted in Blazy (p. 17). An eighteenth century Rotterdam tile panel, in purple and blue painted by Jan Aalmis, is similar. On this tableau are also two female figures, namely Maria Klopas and Salome, who are missing on the plaque (Pluis, p. 526, image 1700 and p. 708).
Plaques of this shape are in 18th-century sources also called tea leaves, because the tops of tea tables often have the same shape. Such tables could also be folded to save space and placed against a wall, which only enforced the association with a plaque. Folded tables were called flap-to-the-wall (Berendsen, p. 185, image 159), see for example the exhibition catalogue ‘De bijbel in huis’ (p. 60).
R.D. Aronson, E. Brouwers, Dutch Delftware. Timeless elegance, Amsterdam 2012
A. Berendsen, Het Nederlandse interieur, Utrecht 1950
G. Blazy, Les plaques en faience de Delft, Saint Omer 1989
T. Kootte (red.), De bijbel in huis. Bijbelse verhalen op huisraad in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw, Zwolle/Utrecht 1991
J. Pluis, Bijbeltegels. Bijbelse voorstellingen op Nederlandse wandtegels van de 17e tot de 20e eeuw / Bibelfliesen. Biblische Darstellungen auf niederländischen Wandfliesen vom 17. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, Münster 1994
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