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Article

Luciana Arbace

Italian centre of ceramic production. The town, situated near Savona in Liguria, was a flourishing centre of maiolica production during the Renaissance. It was, however, only during the 17th and 18th centuries that a distinctive style developed. Important families in the pottery business included the Grosso, Chiodo, Corrado, Salomone, Pescio, Seitone, Seirullo, Levantino and Siccardi, all of whom produced large quantities of polychrome plates (e.g. by the Corrado, mid-17th century; Nino Ferrari priv. col., see Morazzoni, pl. 43), albarelli and vases, which were sometimes inspired by silverware and contemporary delftware. In some cases, yellow and an olive green were used on a turquoise ground. Wares were decorated in a calligraphic style with an emphasis on naturalistic motifs including such animals as leverets; this style later evolved into Baroque forms painted with soft, loose brushstrokes.

In the 1920s the Futurist potter Tullio Mazzotti (1899–1971), who took the name Tullio d’Albisola, revived Albisola’s reputation as a pottery centre. The town continued to produce pottery throughout the 20th century, especially the blue-and-white pottery known as Antico Savona. The Museo della Ceramica Manlio Trucco houses a collection of Albisola pottery from every period....

Article

José Meco

(fl Lisbon, c. 1720–60).

Portuguese decorative artist. His apprenticeship was probably undertaken with Master PMP, the painter of glazed tiles. His most important commission between 1729 and 1731 was for the panels of blue and white tiles, made in Lisbon, that cover the lower storey of the cloister of Oporto Cathedral, which represent scenes from the Song of Solomon. These panels are characteristic of the High Baroque phase of tile-making and show an appreciation of theatre and stage design in the deepening landscape backgrounds of the figurative panels, in the bold outlines and in the enlarged ornamental framing. The spectacular arched frames of the Oporto panels were influenced by Roman Baroque architectural ornament.

The attractive blue and white panels (c. 1735–45) in the cloister of the monastery of S Vicente de Fora, Lisbon, are attributable to Almeida. They contain landscapes, buildings, gardens, Baroque fountains, hunting scenes and other secular subjects, some after the engravings of ...

Article

Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti

[Giorgio da Gubbio; Mastro Giorgio]

(b Intra or Pavia, c. 1465–70; d Gubbio, 1555).

Italian potter. He probably learnt the rudiments of pottery at Pavia and seems to have moved to Gubbio c. 1490, together with his brothers Giovanni Andreoli (d c. 1535) and Salimbene Andreoli (d c. 1522). He became a citizen of Gubbio in 1498. He is particularly well known for his lustrewares, and other potters, especially from the Metauro Valley, sent their work to be lustred in his workshop. His wares made in 1518–19 were frequently signed and dated. His istoriato (narrative) wares (e.g. plate decorated with Hercules and the Hydra, c. 1520; Oxford, Ashmolean) can be dated until at least 1537. In 1536 the workshop seems to have been taken over by his sons Vincenzo Andreoli (Mastro Cencio) and Ubaldo Andreoli.

G. Mazzatinti: ‘Mastro Giorgio’, Il Vasari, 4 (1931), pp. 1–16, 105–22 F. Filippini: ‘Nuovi documenti interno a Mastro Giorgio e alla sua bottega (1515–1517)’, Faenza: Bollettino del Museo internazionale delle ceramiche in Faenza...

Article

José Meco

(b Lisbon, 1688; d Lisbon, 1753).

Portuguese decorative artist. He was highly active in the second quarter of the 18th century, during the period when High Baroque glazed tiles were produced in the Lisbon factories. His output was enormous, and his work was distributed throughout Portugal and Brazil. In partnership with his son-in-law, the painter Nicolau de Freitas (c. 1703–65), he continued the tradition of António de Oliveira Bernardes (see Bernardes family, §1). Under the influence of Joanine wood-carving and silver, the decorative borders of their tiles became richer and more elegant, dominated by grimacing masks and cascading palm and acanthus foliage. The tile makers adapted the convention of using arched frames, which end in garlanded volutes often accompanied by cherubs, for their high dado panels.

Two chapels in the church of Vilar de Frades, Barcelos, dated 1736 and 1742 are decorated with scenes, signed by Antunes and Freitas, from the Life of the Virgin...

Article

Wendy M. Watson

(b Rovigo, 1486–7; d 1542).

Italian maiolica painter . More is known about Avelli than any other maiolica painter because of his many signed works and the autobiographical details included in his sonnets in honour of Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. Avelli considered himself to be not only an artist but also a poet and courtier. His intellectual abilities set him apart from his colleagues, even if as a painter he was not the most talented. He seems never to have directed his own workshop, but he is known to have worked in Urbino from 1530, the year of his first unequivocally signed and dated plate; some pieces from the 1520s signed f.r. and f.l.r. may also be ascribed to him. His familiarity with Classical and contemporary literature is evident in his choice of secular and religious subjects, taken from such authors as Virgil and Ovid, Ariosto and Petrarch (e.g. plate, 1531; London, BM). He also depicted contemporary events, sometimes in allegorical form, for example the Sack of Rome (...

Article

(b Sigüenza, Spain, 1649; d ?Lisbon, c. 1703).

Portuguese painter of Spanish origin. He arrived in Lisbon in 1669 and began his career as a decorative painter in the workshop milieu of the city. In the same year he married Agostina das Neves, the sister-in-law of the painter Marcos da Cruz. In 1681–2 he painted and gilded the ceiling of the choir and crossing in S Luís dos Franceses, Lisbon (destr. 1755). Documents show that from 1690 he confined himself to the painting of azulejos (glazed tiles). He contributed to the development of a monumental conception of figured panels and to the use of cobalt blue as the characteristic colour for Portuguese tiles. He developed the use of azulejos to form a unified pictorial design and created a repertory of decorative elements such as friezes of vases, flowers, single motif tiles and patterns. His important works include panels with scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(fl 1566–89).

Italian potter. He was born in Ascanio and worked in Faenza, initially with Virgiliotto Calamelli, from whose widow he bought the workshop in 1570. Bettisi made huge maiolica services, including one of several hundred pieces made for Albert V of Bavaria in 1576; there is a broad-rimmed bowl from this service in Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. His wares and those of his workshop are marked ‘Don Pino’....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Germany pottery manufactory. In 1904 Emperor Willliam II founded an imperial pottery on his private estate near the East Prussian town of Cadinen (now the Polish town of Kadyny). The factory made imitations of classical and Renaissance pottery, and also produced original works by artists such as Adolf Amberg, Ludwig Manzel (...

Article

Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti

[Virgilio]

(fl Faenza, 1531; d Faenza, c. 1570).

Italian potter. He was the son of Giovanni da Calamello, and there are plenty of documents relating to him, especially after 1540, when as a practising potter he went to sell his wares in Bologna. He was so successful that citizenship was conferred on him. In Faenza his workshop was situated in the S Vitale quarter, where there were many other potteries during the 16th century. An inventory of 1556 (Grigioni, pp. 143–51) describes his economic position and the progress of his workshop. Apparently his was among the most well-established workshops in Faenza, able to produce huge table-services, including water jugs, salt-cellars, dishes and vases (e.g. vase with lion handles, c. 1550–60; Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.). In 1566, for health reasons, he handed his shop over to Leonardo Bettisi, known as Don Pino, also from Faenza. Calamelli is recognized as an important exponent of the Compendiario (sketchy) style, which was typical of the so-called ...

Article

Deruta  

Wendy M. Watson

Italian centre of maiolica production. It was the main centre of pottery production in Umbria during the Renaissance. A document of 1358 records the sale of ceramic wares to the convent of S Francesco in nearby Assisi, although potteries probably existed in Deruta even earlier. Between c. 1490 and 1550 production increased in quantity and quality, and plain and decorated wares were supplied to a wide market (see fig.; see also Italy, fig.). By the early 16th century 30 to 40 kilns were in operation, of which only three or four used the metallic gold and red lustres for which Deruta and Gubbio are renowned. As in Gubbio, lustres were applied to local wares and to those brought from such other centres of production as Urbino for this specialized finish. In addition to lustred ceramics, quantities of polychrome maiolica were produced, the predominant colours of which are yellow, orange and blue. In the 17th and 18th centuries the quality of ceramic production declined and was characterized by the manufacture of votive plaques that were placed in churches and homes....

Article

Luciana Arbace

(fl c. 1543–54).

Italian ceramics painter. He was first active in Urbino, where he is recorded as working in the workshop of Guido di Merlino from 1543. His early signed and dated works include a dish painted with a scene showing Martius Coriolanus and his Mother (1544; London, BM) and a fragment (1546; Stockholm, Nmus.) illustrating the Death of Polixena and bearing the monogram and sign of Urbino. Stylistically very similar to these are plates and dishes illustrating biblical and mythological scenes, dating from 1542 to 1547 (examples in Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.; London, V&A; Edinburgh, Royal Mus. Scotland; Pesaro, Mus. Civ.). In 1547 he took over a kiln in Monte Bagnolo, near Perugia. Certain large vessels, decorated both inside and out, have been attributed to this period (examples in Florence, Bargello, and London, V&A), as have albarelli and flasks. His work is characterized by a strong palette of blues, yellows, oranges and greens and lightly marked contours. His compositions were inspired by printed sources including the illustrated version of Livy’s ...

Article

Wendy M. Watson

Italian family of potters. The workshop founder, Guido Durantino (d c. 1576), was established as a potter in Urbino by 1519 and by 1553 had adopted the name Fontana. His three sons, Nicolo Fontana (d 1565), Camillo Fontana (d 1589) and Orazio Fontana (c. 1510–76), also took part in the business, as did Nicolo’s son Flaminio Fontana (fl after 1576). The workshop was one of the most influential in the area during the 16th century.

Guido Durantino has been described as ‘an artist of somewhat elusive personality’ (Mallet), and it is still not certain whether as head of the workshop he confined his activities to the administration shop or was also a painter. The products of his studio include works dated between 1528 and 1542 and two important armorial services (both c. 1535) made for the Constable of France, ...

Article

Silvia Glaser

[Curstgen; Kestgen; Kneutgen; Knuytgin]

German family of potters. The family achieved prominence during the second half of the 16th century for its achievements in the production of salt-glazed stoneware in Siegburg.

Anno Knütgen (fl 1564–83) was ducal governor of the monastery in Siegburg from 1564 to 1575. The stonewares made in his workshop, which was probably the largest in Siegburg, included Sturzbecher (somersault cups), Trichterbecher (baluster-shaped beakers), flasks (e.g. field-flask, 1573; Cologne, Kstgewmus.) and Schnellen (tall, tapering tankards). An important figure, who was probably employed in the workshop, was the journeyman Frans Trac (fl 1559–68) who, c. 1559, began to decorate wares (particularly Schnellen) with relief motifs inspired by wares from Cologne (e.g. Schnelle, 1559; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.). The decorative schemes on the wares were based on engravings by such contemporary artists as Heinrich Aldegrever, Peter Flötner, Sebald Beham, Virgil Solis, Theodor de Bry, Jörg Breu and Abraham de Bruyn. The illustrations published by Sigmund Feyerabend, whose first Bible was issued in ...

Article

Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti

(fl 1526; d Faenza, 1546–7).

Italian potter. He was a member of an important family of maiolica potters in Faenza; his father Giuliano Manara and his uncle Sebastiano worked in Faenza, as several documents prove. Baldassare was one of the most eminent artists working in Faenza during the first half of the 16th century. A series of documents refer to his workshop in the S Clemente district of the city, and he left many works, signed with the monogram bm or his signature in full, dated between 1532 and 1538. Manara was an exponent of the istoriato (narrative) genre, in which despite being inspired by many of Raphael’s subjects taken from prints, he also derived some elements of form and colour from istoriato maiolica made in Urbino (as in a shallow bowl decorated with the Triumph of Time, 1530–35; Oxford, Ashmolean). Historians often regard Manara as the single greatest influence on maiolica production in Faenza during the second ...

Article

[Risino]

(fl Faenza, 1527–81).

Italian potter. He directed one of the most famous ceramic workshops in Faenza during the 16th century. Through its production, it is possible to follow the stylistic evolution of Renaissance maiolica from the ‘Severe’ style through to the wares known as bianchi di Faenza, for the invention of which Mezzarisa is thought to have been largely responsible (see Faenza). He is also noted for a few important istoriato (narrative) wares, with skilfully applied decoration, including the large plaque depicting the Deposition, signed and dated 1544, and a vase decorated with biblical scenes dated 1558 (both Palermo, Gal. Reg. Sicilia). Mezzarisa was an astute businessman, and from 1540 he was assisted by Pietro di Francesco Zambaldini, a craftsman who specialized in glazes and paints. Among the most important commissions accorded to Mezzarisa was an order (1546) for more than 7000 articles for a Genoese merchant in Palermo. He also worked for the Ferrara court, where he became acquainted with the brothers and court painters Battista Dossi (...

Article

Jessie McNab

(b Agen, Lot-et-Garonne, 1510; d Paris, 1590).

French glass painter and potter. He probably grew up in Gascony. He settled in Saintes in 1539 or 1540, after a decade of travelling all over France and neighbouring regions working as a peintre-vitrier (one who paints, assembles and installs stained-glass windows) and probably also as a surveyor. During the first decade of his time in Saintes he worked as a surveyor, glass painter and possibly as a portrait painter. In connection with the tax for the salt industry, he received a prestigious royal commission to survey and map the salt marshes of the Saintonge between May 1543 and May or June 1544. His real interest, however, was concentrated on the search for the means of making a white tin glaze such as one embellishing a cup that he had admired during his travels. This change in the direction of his artistic interests occurred when he first settled in Saintes, possibly in the house of ...

Article

Wendy M. Watson

Italian family of potters. They were a dominant force in the production of maiolica in Urbino during the late 16th century and early 17th. Four members of the family signed their work, and dates range from 1580 to 1620. Antonio, Alfonso, Francesco and Vincenzo were involved in the family business, although Alfonso is also known to have painted in another workshop. The Patanazzi succeeded the renowned workshop belonging to the Fontana family and it is often difficult to differentiate between their wares, especially those of the period 1570 to 1585. Maiolica decorated with istoriato (narrative) scenes or figures with grotesque borders on a white ground rose in popularity during the mid-16th century. By the 1580s these were the most popular ceramics in the Urbino area, overshadowing the earlier, purely narrative wares. The Patanazzi embraced this decorative style, developed by Raphael, which combined human figures with fanciful monsters, cameos, garlands and other motifs found in the recently discovered ruins of ancient Rome....

Article

José Meco

(fl first decade of the 18th century).

Portuguese painter and decorative artist. He may have been a pupil or collaborator of Gabriel del Barco y Minusca, whose work his resembles in the spontaneity of the painting, though Pereira’s work is more elaborate and careful in execution. The signed panels in the Capela Dourada in the church of the Ordem Terceira de S Francisco (Third Order of St Francis), Recife (Brazil), representing hunting scenes, date from 1703. Above the two dado panels of tiles, with medallions containing putti, in the sacristy of the church of Loreto, Lisbon, are landscapes (1704). His other signed works include a panel representing Christ and the Woman of Samaria (c. 1703), in the Misericórdia Church in Vidigueira. Other panels of tiles attributed to Pereira are: the two panels in the sanctuary in the parish church of Colares, Sintra, depicting two scenes from the Flight into Egypt (c. 1705–10...

Article

(b Castel Durante, 1523–4; d Castel Durante, 1579).

Italian writer and maiolica painter. He came from a patrician family of Bolognese descent and was a humanist by education and an amateur devotee of the arts. He was also active as a dilettante poet, land surveyor, civil and military engineer and draughtsman. Between 1556 and 1559 he wrote Li tre libri dell’arte del vasaio—the earliest European treatise on maiolica production—at the request of Cardinal François de Tournon (1489–1562), who may have intended the treatise to help improve the quality of faience being manufactured in his native France. In this three-part treatise, Piccolpasso explained and illustrated in lively detail the basic procedures required for maiolica production; these procedures have remained largely unchanged during the ensuing centuries. He described the composition of glazes, pigments and lustres, the location and preparation of the raw materials, the methods for constructing the tools—including the wheel and kiln—and for forming, trimming, drying, painting and firing the wares. He also included a selection of designs for plate decoration that were popular during the first half of the 16th century. His other major literary work was a topographical description of Umbria entitled ...

Article

Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti

Italian family of potters. Pietro (‘Pirotto’) Paterni was already working as a potter by 1460. His four sons, Matteo, Negro, Gianlorenzo and Gianfrancesco, all of whom were skilful maiolica painters, took their surname (Pirotti) and the name of their shop, Casa Pirota, from the nickname of their father. Their workshop was among the best known in Faenza during the first half of the 16th century. It was situated in the S Vitale district of the town, in the area of greatest concentration of the maiolica workshops. They specialized in the most refined, decorative techniques including the use of the berettino (blue) glaze and the production of articles decorated with grotesques on a dark-blue ground. They also produced work in the istoriato (narrative) style, the most outstanding of which is the goblet (1535; Bologna, Mus. Civ. Med.) depicting the Coronation of Charles V, inscribed underneath fata in caxa pirota. Documents referring to individual members of the family are plentiful: for example, ...