The “Whites of Faenza” between 16th and 17th century

Beside the richness of decorations and colors of the majolica in the half of the 16th century, an opposite creative tendency developed, it was characterized by a simple decoration and a few colors, blue, yellow and orange, drawn with quick brush strokes, the “compendiario” style, on a white and thick glaze.

This “revolution” was carried on by the potters in Faenza, as a consequence these artifacts were called the “whites of Faenza”. Their main characteristic was the white thick glaze, often without decorations, or painted with coat of arms and figures, quickly sketched and surrounded by light garlands and, in some cases, they were decorated with “istoriato” scenes.

These simple decorations were flanked by a great variety of shapes; they were sculptural, pierced with molded creative details such as harpies, paws and heads of lions, dolphins, all of them shaped in the contemporary baroque style. The Whites of Faenza included a popular “grotesque” decoration on a white background, also called “Raphaelesque”, which reached great artistic results in Faenza, Pisa, Rome, Deruta and in the Dukedom of Urbino (Pesaro, Urbino, Casteldurante). The fortune of the whites determined their popularity for the whole 17th century, they were produced in the main Italian ceramic centers (particularly in Deruta and Castelli) and spread out also in Europe.



1636 ca.


cm 4.5 x Ø 38.5