Today’s entry is pretty straightforward: a ceramic plate showing a head made from phalluses.
Francesco Urbini, Testa di cazzi (from Casteldurante), 1536, maiolica plate. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
This blue-ground maiolica bowl contains a head made of penises and a scroll with a cryptic inscription legible when read backwards: OGNI HOMO ME GUARDA COME FOSSE UNA TESTA DE CAZI (every man looks at me as if I were a head of dicks). The reverse of the plate provides the date of 1536 and another phrase that explains how to read the scroll on the front: “El breve dentro voi legerite Come i giudei se intender el vorite (If you want to understand the meaning, you will be able to read the text like the Jews do).
The outrageous imagery was likely inspired by a Leonardesque drawing or a medal by Aretino. The head can be interpreted as either male or female given the earring and hair band. Both attributes are traditionally feminine but the earring is also a symbol of otherness (Jews, slaves, etc.).
Check out the Ashmolean website for more.