Montelupo Ceramics

The production of archaic maiolica in Montelupo dates back to the second half of the 13th century.

Montelupo Fiorentino : Ceramics MuseumMONTELUPO CERAMICS
The production of archaic maiolica in Montelupo dates back to the second half of the 13th century.
Ceramic manufacturing activities however took off at the beginning of the 1400s following the conquering of Pisa in 1406 when the way to the coast finally opened up to Florence.
Located as they were along the sailable tract of the river Arno, Montelupo potteries could finally reach the sea ports of embarkation of Pisa and Leghorn; their production, technological and artistic development attracted the capitals of the rich and noble families of Florence.
Montelupo's golden age covers a period from approx. 1450 to 1530 during which time Renaissance decorations were developed and elaborated and Montelupo maiolica reached its peak commercial expansion spreading throughout the Mediterranean basin and along the mercantile sea routes of the Atlantic.
From the second half of the 1500s onwards, the ceramics production of Montelupo started to suffer the effects of the general economic crisis and local ceramics manufacturing centres were forced to change type of workmanship and production technology.
After 1630, the year of the great plague, the number of potters reduced considerably and in the second half of the 1600s production suffered a drastic slump, potteries that specialized in a more prestigious production disappeared completely leaving only the potteries that produced kitchen ware and terracotta objects.
Between the end of the 19th and the first years of the 20th century, the production of Montelupo maiolica started again with the great FANCIULLACCI factory.
Today Montelupo Fiorentino is one of the major ceramics production centres in Italy producing raw materials and artistic maiolica for the export market.

Montelupo Fiorentino : Museo della CeramicaTHE MUSEUM OF CERAMICS OF MONTELUPO

The new Ceramics Museum comprises an indoor area of 2.100 square metres, an outdoor area of 400 square metres and a spacious entrance hall that houses the cafeteria/bookshop .
The exhibition covers three floors.
The first room on the ground floor contains an evocative reconstruction of the so-called "pozzo dei lavatoi" as well as an ideal itinerary through the history of Montelupo's ceramics featuring large graphic reconstructions.
In the following room the exhibition of the Museum of Ceramics starts with the collections arranged in chronological and typological order.
The other rooms on the ground floor contain maiolica pieces that date back to a period that goes from the end of the 13th to the first half of the 15th century and also feature the reconstruction, on a natural scale, of a set Medieval dining table.
On the upper floor are the exhibits that date back to Renaissance times comprising a broad range of examples of classic decorations of the time.
The exhibits relative to the early Renaissance period come to an end in the last rooms on the first floor with the grottesche decoration represented by the dish called Il rosso di Montelupo, one of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance majolica

More information:

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