Liberty and Deco

The first thirty years of the 20th century were characterized, particularly in the ceramic field, by two distinct and consequent artistic tendencies: the Liberty and the Deco. The first invaded all Europe and was distinguished by specific stylistic elements and artistic trends depending on the geographic area. The predominant element is the sinuous and graceful line which turns into elegant and captivating female figures, new icons of style. The innovative shapes are linked to original decorations where the serpentine and flexuous line describes elements of a symmetric and polished natural context. The liberty reached the peak around 1910 and declined during the First World War leaving space to the Deco taste which stood out, above all in Italy, from 1919 to 1938. The myth of modernity, carried on by the artistic avant-gardes (mainly the Futurism), the industrial revolution with the feats of the new machines and the artificial lights of the new towns, substituted in a definitive way the myth of nature. Original shapes and objects were created for the house, the visual arts were characterized by more abstract and geometric stylizations; essential works, contaminations among the different tastes and exotic elements determined the everyday production.


Domenico Baccarini

About 1903

Majolica, height cm 38

He was an extraordinary artist, promoter of the Circle dedicated to him, he was a painter, sculptor, skilled drawer, engraver, inquiring and able to renovate shapes and styles. He died too early, but he was able to create numerous ceramic prototypes later produced by faentinian local manufactures. This “vase” is a true sculpture with a symbolist influence reflecting the liberty style, as evidenced by the sinous lines of the drapery and by the graceful female shapes.

Little Dame

Francesco Nonni (1885~1976)


Majolica, size cm 24x21.4

Nonni was a versatile artist (painter, xylographer, expert drawer of pretty decorations) and a refined creator of models. He collaborated with Anselmo Bucci and Pietro Melandri to realize “pierrots”, little ladies and little figures, all skilfully and gracefully decorated, in harmony with the bourgeois taste and the déco trends.

“Alhambra” Vase

Pietro Melandri



cm 59x21.5x18.6

Painter, ceramist, theatre design, sculptor, Melandri participated to the renewal of the epoch. He was well-known for the third firing technique, refined between 1922 and 1931. In 1932 he opened his laboratory starting a collaboration with Gio Ponti to realize wall decorations,in particular his typical decorative panels for the architecture. One of the main characteristic of his work is the luminescent surface, thanks to the iridescent effect of the lusterware. They recall ancient Persian and Byzantine works and are extraordinarily elegant and refined, such as the vase here presented.