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Maiolica cover

Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wilson, Timothy with an essay by Luke Syson
2016
392 pages
365 illustrations
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The form of tin-glazed earthenware known as maiolica reveals much about the culture and spirit of Renaissance Italy. Engagingly decorative, often spectacularly colorful, sometimes whimsical or frankly bawdy, these magnificent objects, which were generally made for use rather than simple ornamentation, present a fascinating glimpse into the realities of daily life. Though not as well known as Renaissance painting and sculpture, maiolica is also prized by collectors and amateurs of the decorative arts the world over.

This volume offers highlights of the world-class collection of maiolica at the Metropolitan Museum. It presents 135 masterpieces that reflect more than four hundred years of exquisite artistry, ranging from early pieces from Pesaro—including an eight-figure group of the Lamentation, the largest, most ambitious piece of sculpture produced in a Renaissance maiolica workshop—to everyday objects such as albarelli (pharmacy jars), bella donna plates, and humorous genre scenes. Each piece has been newly photographed for this volume, and each is presented with a full discussion, provenance, exhibition history, publication history, notes on form and glaze, and condition report.

Two essays by Timothy Wilson, widely considered the foremost scholar in the field, provide overviews of the history and technique of maiolica as well as an account of the formation of The Met's collection. Also featured is a wide-ranging introduction by Luke Syson that examines how the function of an object governed the visual and compositional choices made by the pottery painter. As the latest volume in The Met's series of decorative arts highlights, Maiolica is an invaluable resource for scholars and collectors as well as an absorbing general introduction to a multifaceted subject.

Bowl with the Arms of Pope Julius II and the Manzoli of Bologna surrounded by putti, cornucopiae, satyrs, dolphins, birds, etc., workshop of Giovanni Maria Vasaro, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, Castel Durante
1508
Armorial Plate (tondino): The story of King Midas, Nicola da Urbino  Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)
ca. 1520–25
Armorial Plate: Silenus on an ass, supported by Bacchic revelers, Nicola da Urbino or Castel Durante Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)
ca. 1520–25
Bowl, Tin-glazed earthenware, Spanish
Spanish
1430–1460
Deep Dish, Tin-glazed earthenware, Spanish
Spanish
1430–1460
Bowl, Tin-glazed earthenware, Spanish
Spanish
1440–1460
Deep Dish, Tin-glazed earthenware, Spanish
Spanish
second half 15th century
Plate, Tin-glazed earthenware, Spanish
Spanish
1430–1470
Plate (tagliere), workshop of Guido Durantino  Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, Urbino
ca. 1550–60
Jug with Flattened Spout, Glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
ca. 1300
Tile, Mosca family  Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, Naples
ca. 1868–70
Dish, Ferruccio Mengaroni  Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, Pesaro
ca. 1900–1907
Dish with Lion, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
late 14th century
Bowl with A Papal Coronation, Ferruccio Mengaroni  Italian, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), Italian, probably Pesaro
ca. 1900–1915
Dish with Rampant Lions, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
early 15th century
Two-Handled Bowl with Fish, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
1400–1430
Two-Handled Jar with Stag, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
ca. 1350
Two-Handled Jar with Lions' Heads, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
early 15th century
Large Dish, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
ca. 1420
Two-Handled Jar with Stag, Tin-glazed earthenware, Italian
Italian
early 1400s
Showing 20 of 168

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Wilson, Timothy, and Luke Syson. 2016. Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Highlights of the Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.