The historicism in the 19th century

Around the middle of the 19th century a lively interest for the ancient models, in particular from the Renaissance, arose in Italy and was shared by the main ceramic centers where, during the 16th century, a high level production of majolica wares had established.

Initially the privileged model was the Renaissance art production of Florence, for this reason the first experiences of revival from the Renaissance were carried on in Tuscany. The Ginori manufacture early started this kind of ceramic production and created some examples of ancient Italian majolica reproduction for the Second Universal Exposition of Paris in 1855. Only later in 1878 the Cantagalli Manufacture, managed by Ulisse Cantagalli, came on the scene in Florence. This Neo-Renaissance tendency quickly became a national experience, showing a preference for the “istoriato” paintings and for the “grotesque” and “raphaelesque” decorations. Also the ancient lusterware technique reemerged, first it was produced by Ginori in 1847, than by Pietro Gaj in Pesaro in 1848 and Luigi Carocci in Gubbio inl 1856. The potters in Faenza developed a particular production of “painting on majolica” with excellent artistic effects. In parallel they created sumptuous majolica artifacts inspired by the rich 16th century repertoire: big displaying dishes and decorative amphorae embellished the walls, the little tables, the stands or the fireplaces, they too often made of majolica.


Firenze, Cantagalli Manufacture

Beginning 20th century


cm 40 x 27 x 18.2