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Inscription

upper center on cartouche: SPARTAM QVAM NAC / TVS ES, HANC ORNA . / Johann Newdörffer Rechenmeister; lower center on band below shield, Lautensack's initials in monogram: HSL 1552; shield of arms for Johann Neudörffer: Azure two chevronels between three stars or; shield of arms for his wife, Katarina Nathan Sidelmann: azure, two halberts or, headed argent, crossed in saltire; shield with trademark of the Neudörffer family: argent, the 'merchant's mark' of Neudörffer azure [1]

Inscription Notes

[1] Wendy M. Watson, Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection, exh. cat. (11 venues), London and Washington, 1986: 150. The plate is part of a service made for Johann Neudorffer (1497-1563), a resident of Nuremberg who gained great renown as a calligrapher and teacher of arithmetic, geometry, and related disciplines. He was the author of the first German art historical book, a collection of biographies of Nuremberg's artists, published in 1547, three years before the publication in Italy of Vasari's Lives of the Artists. The motto in the cartouche is a Latin translation of a line from a lost play by Euripides, Telephus. Agamemnon speaks the line to Menelaus: "You got Sparta, adorn that." The words are quoted in a 10th century dictionary known as the Suda, and are interpreted there as follows: "It seems to me that I shall bear my fate calmly and myself adorn my Sparta, since I believe that this is the challenge that has been made to my life, if I do not desert Philosophy even when she fails."

Provenance

Oskar Hainauer [1840-1894], Berlin; by inheritance to his widow, Julie Hainauer [1850-1926], Berlin; purchased 1906 with the entire Hainauer collection by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); sold 17 October 1906 to William Andrews Clark [1839-1925], New York;[1] bequest 1926 to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; acquired 2014 by the National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition History
2004
Marvels of Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery of Art Collection, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida; Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids; Hillstrom Museum of Art, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota; Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, 9 April 2004 - 18 June 2006, no. 22.
2007
Treasures of European Decorative Art and Sculpture, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 25 August 2007 - 29 March 2009, no catalogue.
2018
Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2018, no. 50
Bibliography
1897
Bode, Wilhelm von, ed. Die Sammlung Oscar Hainauer / The Collection of Oscar Hainauer. [bound as one volume, English and German pages interleaved in one page sequence] Berlin, 1897 and London, 1906: 39, 117, no. 348 (M68).
1925
Carroll, Dana H. Catalogue of Objects of Fine Art and Other Properties at the Home of William Andrews Clark, 962 Fifth Avenue. Part II. Unpublished manuscript, n.d. (1925): 262, no. 68.
1955
Breckenridge, James D. "Italian Maiolica in the W.A. Clark Collection." The Corcoran Gallery of Art Bulletin 7, no. 3 (April 1955): no. 97.
1955
Von Erdberg, Joan Prentice. "Italian Maiolica at the Corcoran Gallery of Art." The Burlington Magazine 97, no. 624 (March 1955): 74.
1986
Watson, Wendy M. Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection. Exh. cat. (11 venues). London and Washington, 1986: 148-150, no. 58, repro.
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