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Tazza Bowl with Saul and David

Paulus van Vianencirca 1595 - 1601

Centraal Museum

Centraal Museum
Utrecht, Netherlands

In this period, the young silversmith Paulus van Vianen still relied heavily on work by other artists. The interior in which David is playing the harp to King Saul is taken from a drawing based on Hans Vredeman’s book from 1560. Its composition is not original either, but refers back to a carving by Frans Floris from 1555. Technically speaking, the scene is skilfully raised from the silver, but the stiff landscape and the renaissance features of the building are old-fashioned and lack the exquisite refinement seen a decade later in the piece Paulus van Vianen created for Emperor Rudolf II in Prague.

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