Plate depicting Pyramus and Thisbe

Italian (Urbino)
Painted by Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo (Italian (Urbino), born about 1486–87, possibly died in 1542)


Diam: 28.3cm (11 1/8in.); Height: 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

On View

Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 206)





This plate belongs to a service made for a member of the Pucci family of Florence, comprising a salt, 34 dishes dated 1532, and two dishes dated 1533.


Mark: F. X. A. R. (Francisco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo).


1532, made for the Pucci family, Florence [see note 1]. About 1850s/1860s, possibly James Jackson Jarves (b. 1818 - d. 1888), Paris (?) and Florence [see note 2]. By 1872, Elizabeth Chapman (Mrs. Timothy Bigelow) Lawrence [see note 3]; Between 1872-1876, given by Mrs. Lawrence to the Boston Athenaeum [see note 4]; 1976, sold by the Boston Athenaeum to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 10, 1976)

[1] This plate is part of a larger maiolica service created for the Pucci family. An armorial device of the Pucci is at right of the plate.

[2] An appplied paper label (now removed) on reverse reads "J. J. Jarves. Boston. Am[eri]ca / No. 2. Ave. de l'Imperatrice". James Jackson Jarves built up his collection of Italian art while residing in Florence from 1851 until 1886.

[3] Possibly acquired in Florence by Elizabeth Chapman (Mrs. Timothy Bigelow) Lawrence (b. 1829 - d. 1905), Florence and Boston, or by Mr. Timothy Bigelow Lawrence before 1869 (b.1826 – d.1869) and inherited by Mrs. T.B. Lawrence.

[4] The plate was lent by Mrs. T.B. Lawrence to the MFA in 1872, and from the Athenaeum continuously from 1876 until 1976 (no. Ath. 312).

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund