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1255. Polychrome Biblical Plate


Delft, dated 1778

Marked P:VMV / 1778 / in brown possibly for Pieter Jansz. van Marksveld, master painter and later the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) Factory

Diameter: 22.3 cm.  (8.8 in.)

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Plate hanger and stand included 

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Delft, dated 1778

Marked P:VMV / 1778 / in brown possibly for Pieter Jansz. van Marksveld, master painter and later the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) Factory

Painted in the center in blue with a scene from the parable of ‘The Prodigal Son’ depicting the son having returned from his escapades, kneeling and begging for forgiveness from his father before an Italianate building within a yellow and brown rectangular frame flanked by cherubs holding green laurel garlands and standing on scrollwork brackets, the top of the frame with a cluster of roses and foliage between foliate scrolls, and the bottom with further foliate scrolls enclosing a plaque inscribed Lúcas / 15 11-32, and the rim with a guilloche border of floret-centered circlets.


Diameter: 22.3 cm.  (8.8 in.)


The identification of the mark is somewhat speculative, as in this form: P:VMV it is unrecorded. It could be interpreted as P:VM/, which would suggest it is the mark of Pieter Jansz. van Marksveld, of whom little is known, but the date of 1778 would place this plate prior to his assuming ownership of De Grieksche A in 1796, and possibly while he was working as a master painter at the factory, during which time he married Petronella van der Laan, the widow of the prior owner of De Grieksche A, Jan van den Briel, who died in early 1785. The uncertainty persists in as much as the Delft City Archives reveal a number of Pieter van Marksvelds in the appropriate time period, but does not mention their occupations.

The parable of ‘The Prodigal Son’ from the New Testament’s Gospel According to Saint Luke, Chapter 15, verses 11-32, is one of the best known lessons of repentance and forgiveness. It tells of a father who, at the request of the younger of his two sons, divided their inheritance between them. Thus enriched, the younger son journeyed to distant lands, squandering his inheritance on licentious living. Suddenly there was a famine, and the son, now having neither fortune nor food, was reduced to working for a local citizen, feeding his swine. Hungry, desperate and humiliated, he decided to return home and beg his father’s pardon. But as he approached, his father embraced the son with compassion, ordering his servants to kill the “fatted calf” for a welcome feast. The merriment celebrating the return of his wanton younger brother angered the dutiful older son, but their father explained, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”


  • Minor rim abrasions
  • One rim chip of 13 mm.
  • Overall in good condition

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 35 × 35 × 10 cm


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