Jug with crucifixon scene

Paul Preuningc.1550

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

With its relief Calvary scene, this jug was made for a religious purpose, almost certainly for use in communion. The stylised branch with leaves and bunches of grapes extending in two directions from the cross and curving around the figures of Mary and Joseph is a reference to the tree of Jesse, the family tree of Jesus Christ. Another reference to an Old Testament prophecy is the dark blue ground behind the cross, which may refer to the eclipse of the sun which darkened the sky on Christ’s crucifixion: “… in that day, … I will darken the earth in the clear day” (Amos 8:9). Above Christ’s halo, on the cross, is the inscription IRNI instead of INRI [Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaorum]. The mistake probably arose from the potters’ practice of copying from precursors, who were not necessarily familiar with such text. The Preuning family of potters worked in Nuremberg in the second half of the 16th century. Their workshop produced both pottery vessels and stoves. Characteristic of their wares are a simple thrown shape, modelled figural decoration and mixed tin and lead glazes. They used white and yellow tin glaze on a green, blue and brown lead-glaze ground. The modelled details – the adornments, leaves, flowers, rosettes and figural elements – were not modelled on the pot, but pressed separately in negative moulds and then arranged into compositions, similarly to the decoration of German Renaissance salt-glazed stoneware.

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  • Title: Jug with crucifixon scene
  • Date Created: c.1550
  • Location Created: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Provenance: Unknown. (Acquired before 1915.)
  • Potter: Paul Preuning
  • Place Part Of: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: w11.7 x h26.3 cm (Complete)
  • Inscription: IRNI (sic!)
  • Type: Ceramic object
  • Rights: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2013, http://collections.imm.hu/terms-and-conditions
  • External Link: http://collections.imm.hu/gyujtemeny/kanna-a-keresztre-feszites-jelenetevel/1550
  • Medium: Fired clay, with moulded decoration, polychrome painting, lead glaze.