Pottery of Deruta Print

It is not easy to describe the renowned pottery of Deruta, without the risk of seeming rhetorical, considering how famous the pottery is worldwide. Suffice it to say that, because of the importance of this production, there is a dedicated regional Museum, located in the centre of Deruta. This is the extension of a museum founded by a lawyer named Briganti, who was born in Deruta. There is a rich display of artefacts inside the museum, as well as spaces for theme exhibitions. The pottery of Deruta experienced its greatest moment of inspiration over a long period starting in the second half of the 15th century, up to and including the whole of the 17th century. In these two and a half centuries, different styles developed, like the "petal back", featuring simple petal-shaped decorations on the backs of the plates and patterns in "severe style" on the front. More complex images also developed, including scenes and allegorical themes, surrounded by geometric forms (thorny crown, wolf’s tooth, hawksbill, floral spirals, and porcelain) or portraits. Other styles are the Raphaelesque style with its typical blue and yellow pastel shades and softer tones compared to the Gualdo-Gubbio productions, and then there are the “whites" and the "calligraphic" style in monochrome blue or orange. The objects marking the transition from domestic pottery to a more ornamental type are the large, grandiose plates, amatory cups and rounded double-handled vases on a high base. In the 17th century, the Compendiario style was created, offering simple, terse pictorial designs applied to complex, almost sculpted, shapes with sinuous outlines.

Among the may examples of Deruta’s ceramic art, the floor in the Church of St. Francis and the ex voto of the nearby Sanctuary of Madonna dei Bagni all deserve a mention.

Following a crisis in the 18th century, after the unification of Italy, an initiative of the municipality of Deruta, in 1872, brought new vigour to local production, with a strong traditional flavour and with hints of newness, like a reflection of modern art. To this end, we suggest a visit to the Galleria Moretti.

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