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Plate with Paris Killing Achilles and arms of the Calini family, Nicolo da Gabriele Sbraghe (Italian, active by 1520–37/38), ca. 1525, Italian, Urbino. Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware). Overall: 1 1/8 × 10 1/2 in. (2.9 × 26.7 cm). Purchase, Funds from various donors, 1884, 84.3.2 © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Classical mythology and biblical history are the most popular themes found on Renaissance maiolica. For inspiration, painters looked to widely circulated prints, carefully modifying the rectangular compositions to better suit the round, contoured surfaces of tableware. Here, the artist altered a print by pushing the story’s most important elements—such as Achilles’s vulnerable heel—to the edge of the plate so that they would remain visible regardless of the presence of food.