Tureen for "Risotto alla Pescatore"

image for Tureen for "Risotto alla Pescatore"
Exhibition Label
This serving dish was designed specifically for seafood risotto, which inspired the shape of the vessel and its decoration. The body resembles a fisherman's boat, while the tureen's lid and the tray handles conjure up ocean waves. Nestled into the vessel's surface are marine forms including starfish, shells, and octopi, all cast from life and molded to fit the undulating form of the tureen.
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019
New Acquisition Label
Ubaldo Vitali's skill is most evident in his original designs. Tureen was crafted specifically to serve risotto alla pescatore, which inspired the shape of the vessel and its decoration. The body resembles a fisherman’s boat, while the tureen's lid and the handles on its tray resemble ocean waves. The sea forms, including starfish, shells, and octopi, are cast from life in the traditional eighteenth century manner, and then molded to fit the body of the tureen. The handles are trimmed with sodalite in further reference to the sea.
The design of this tureen is more baroque than Vitali's typically modernist works. At a time when silversmithing is declining globally and labor is increasingly specialized, this work offers masterful examples of the core techniques of raising, chasing, and casting. It illustrates the scope of Vitali's achievement in silver, both by bridging the Old World with the New, and by serving as an encyclopedia to his craft.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2011
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Renwick Gallery
2001
Object number
2011.22A-C
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance
Artist
Ubaldo Vitali, born Rome, Italy 1944
Medium
sterling silver and sodalite
Dimensions
6 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 13 in. (16.5 x 54.0 x 33 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Restrictions & Rights
© 2001, Ubaldo Vitali
Type
Decorative Arts
Crafts