The history of Renaissance glass began in Venice. The invention of a very pure, colourless material (cristallo), heated then blown free-hand or in moulds is the characteristic feature of this luxury product prized by the European elite.
Venetian glass reached the peak of perfection in the 16th century with shapes of unprecedented delicacy and elegance, making each object a genuine masterpiece.
This large cristallo glass bowl features charming cold-painted decoration applied to the reverse. The subject matter, which can be admired through the thickness of the perfectly clear glass, is inspired by an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphaël: two winged cupids are leading a children’s dance against the backdrop of a landscape. The delicate gilded foliated patterns decorating the rim of the work enhance the quality and richness of the decoration.
Designed as a luxurious display piece, this bowl with its painted decor is exceptionally well preserved and has certainly never seen practical use.