Maiolica Before Raphael

Event Date: 
05 May 2017


Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, 10:30-16:30

A symposium on the Italian ceramics of the early Renaissance

to be held in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Maiolica before Raphael’ at Sam Fogg, 8 May - 16 June 2017


Never before have an exhibition and a symposium been devoted solely to the great development of the art of Italian pottery from its medieval beginnings, culminating in the amazing artistic and technical achievements of Quattrocento potters. These artists created exquisitely painted wares which became ‘must haves’ for any noble household; all captured in the dazzling, brilliant palette of maiolica fired colours that - unlike paintings, textiles and frescoes - never fade.


This symposium will examine the wide-ranging stylistic influences on Italian maiolica and its relationship with other art forms, which helped raise humble wares from the utilitarian to the status of art. 


Better than any other art form, maiolica embodies both the visual splendour and touching intimacy of life in Renaissance Italy. Speakers will explain how thanks to its novelty status and the accomplishment of its decoration, maiolica secured a prominent place in the palaces and villas of major Renaissance art patrons such as Lorenzo de’ Medici and Isabella d’Este. Papers will be devoted also the colourful world of the pioneering enthusiast collectors of this fascinating type of early pottery.


Notable speakers will include Marino Marini from the Bargello Museum, Florence, Julia Poole, author of the maiolica catalogue of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Elisa P. Sani, formerly of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Justin Raccanello, Italian maiolica scholar, Dora Thornton, Curator of Renaissance Europe at The British Museum and Timothy Wilson, Honorary Curator, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


A full list of speakers will be published in advance of the symposium


There will be an advance viewing of the exhibition open to all attendees, accompanied by an illustrated catalogue which will be available to buy on the day.


The symposium is free and includes a buffet lunch, but booking is essential

Please click here to register before the 18th April

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