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Tazza with Apollo and Daphne

Adam van Vianen1620

Centraal Museum

Centraal Museum
Utrecht, Netherlands

Adam van Vianen and his bother Paulus innovated the silversmith’s art in two significant ways: they invented the auricular ornament and introduced the use of realistic landscapes in mythological scenes. Their works are technical masterpieces. The objects are raised from one sheet of silver into a three-dimensional shape and then further refined by a technique called chasing. The foot of this tazza depicts the moment Apollo embraces nymph Daphne and turns her into a laurel tree. In the tazza bowl, Apollo is shown in a landscape of hills, with the winged dragon Python defeated in the background. This type of drinking bowl emerged at the start of the 16th century and eventually became an ornamental object for one to admire, but not actually use.

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