The decorative “families” of the 15th century

Following the traditional division of epochs of the Greek art, Gaetano Ballardini in his book  “Lineamenti primari del disegno storico della maiolica italiana”(“Bases of the Italian majolica historical patters”),1938,  offered a classification of the 15th century ceramics, the “severe style”, in decorative “families” still in use. From the late 14th century the rich Gothic base present in the archaic majolica, fully established itself through the “blue relief” decorative repertoire: coat of arms, Gothic letters, animals like birds and rampant lions, human figures, busts, all surrounded by garlands of berries, oak leaves and ivy. The decorations are brown in the outlines and dark cobalt blue painted in relief. In the Emilia-Romagna production including Faenza, the cobalt blue is alternated to the green.

Gothic subjects were on fashion also in the late 15th century with the “Gothic-floral” family, characterized by an elegant curly leaf with a central flower, inspired by the Gothic miniatures. Oriental tendencies emerged during the 15th century with the “Italian-Moresque” decorations, such as the “Persian palm” and the “peacock feather”, inspired by the vessels coming from Valencia and stimulated by the Islamic art. 



Starting 15th century


cm 6.5 x Ø 24.8