Basin with Diana and Actaeon, Paulus Willemsz. van Vianen, 1613
Paulus van Vianen was celebrated for his unrivalled silver reliefs. This dish shows the goddess Diana being surprised by the huntsman Actaeon. She changes him into a stag: his hat is already sprouting antlers. The kwab style is used in many forms in the splendid, broad border, which commands as much attention as the scene it surrounds. The story depicted on the inside of this basin is continued on the reverse. Actaeon, transformed into a stag, is killed by his fellow huntsmen and devoured by his hounds. Never before had the underside of a dish been embellished with another scene. The ornament is even more prominent than on the front. The basin’s feet are veritable kwab sculptures.