For comments mail p.h.gommers@outlook.com 


The oldest and finest Italian porcelain production was started by Carlo Ginorini in 1735. The Doccia Manifattura is situated at the Cittadella di Doccia a Sesto Fiorentino. First with soft paste porcelain and since 1770 the pure
white hard paste porcelain, hand painted and of the highest quality. In 1896 the factory merged with a Milanese factory and have been producing under the name Richard-Ginori. On Februari 2013 they went bankrupt.
A pure white table statuette of Europe on the bull, was produced by Doccia in the last quarter of the18th century



















This statue is shown by the Museo Internazionale di Ceramico  di Faenza. The Town Faenza is known for its ceramic  (faïence) productions.The statuette was a gift by Dono Pietro Bracchini in 1987. At thend of the 18th century the chief modeller was Caspare Bruschi. Europe looks very elegant, with short haircut and without a large mantle or shawl above her head. The thin legs of the bull have to be supported by a fantasy cover gliding from the bull.


Faenza, some visitors in June 2016



A century later the Doccia Manifattura Ginori issued again a statuette, about 12 cm longue and 10 cm high, representing the Europe Myth



The statuette is delicately formed. Europe on the kneeling bull. Strangely the bull has a similarly long neck, like his predecessor of the 18th century (32-01). His horns are apparently covered by the flowers draped around his head.
Again, none of the more usual clothing or hand-on-horn posture.
It was a legacy of Marisa Gasparini in 1999 to the Museo Internazionale di Ceramico di Faenza


Faenza        august 3,           the same visitors from June



A particular item of the Faenza International Ceramic Museum is a 5/4th century BC Greek Péliké with the famous redcoloured figures.
A Lady sitting on a standing bull but no real indications it concerns the Europa myth. The light reflex of the foto is not really helping, nor the wings on her back. And a flowerbush appears to be growing on the head of the bull. The often used image of a loose peplos  bulbing over Europa's head in the wind, is not used either but that is derived from Ovidius final line on the Europa myth in his Metamorphoses four or five centuries later, so cannot be expected here..


32              32-04


Surprise, after enlarging the bull's head. The flower branche stays behind the bull's head and even more interesting, it is blossoming with a kind of little bubles; ment to be flowers, surely. The same bubles, flowers, the Lady is holding in her hand and are already hanging over the forehead of the bull down along his neck. The Lady is Europa decking the bull with flowers. The lady in front of her is a friend or servant carrying in  one hand a bag and in the other a little basket for gathering the flowers. And if this is not convincing enough. A closer look shows that the wings behind Europe belong to a bird  hovering above Europa's head. Or the famous eagle indicating Zeus presence there, being the bull. So the painter, indeed, gives here his interpretation of the Europa myth. The reverse side is unknown to me, but surely the Museum can tell us what's there. Most probably, another image of an ancient Greek myth.


september 1 the surpprise of Faenza


 Europa and bull Zeus are not only favoured in European art, its political weight finds expression in many political cartoons sending the message of a federal Europe as the one realistic alternative against the US, China, India, Opec and Russia. Brexit is just sentimental wistful thinking. The ongoing fight between past and future has been expressed clearly by Harm Beugen (toonpool.com)

                        "The big question after Brexit, do we need more or less Europe. Europa: more; the bull less."




The fairy-like bull represents more and more outdated populistic sentiments, while of course Europe stands firm to defend the interests of her continent and its citizens.


October 1   an optimistic sitemaster


Tourists in Dortmund, NordRhein-Westfalen, cannot miss  the 15m long and 5m high Metalplastic hanging above shops at the Old Market.
It represents a dynamic Europa on the Bull. In front of him the whole world and left God Hermes- Mercurius, the God of Comerce and who led Zeus in the right direction.


32-06        32_07


The  sculpture was designed and executed by Fred G. Hellwig, 1919 from Schlestein  and had been commanded by Lennert Dortmund.in 1974. It is a remarkable streamlined picture of Europa on a running Bull/Zeus  encouraged by  God Hermes his messenger
In 1974, the oilcrises bedevilled the economy., threatened with an oilboycot by the OPEC. That generation reacted by infigurating the EC now EU. The Bull  did not draw in its horns, It was attack, not retreat.within narrow national borders


November, 3    Dutch visitors


The famous novel by Francesco Colonna, called Hypnerotomachia Poliphili from 1499, Venice or Poliphili's Lovedream, has different illustrations of the Europa myth. In my study on the myth there is a short summary of the story(p.109) and one of the illustrationson p.61).

The oher illustration, down below, looks more familiar and is found in the edition of 1546, Paris.



The drawing is from Jean Cousin and Jean Coujon. The sense of having seen the picture before, probably is caused by a rather similar illustration, used and often reprinted, in La  Metamorphose d'Ovide illustrée, 1557 Lyon by Bernard Salomon, 1508-1561.See my study p.100. It appears that Salomon had some illustrious predecessors


December 1,  2016          An end of year reflection