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together by signor Frati of that city, would read BOLOQNIESVS
• BETINI ■ FECIT : while upon other tiles occur :—




. ZETILA • BE
. FAVETCIE




1 66 MAJOLICA.

and again upon another a small label inscribed PETRVS*
• ANDRE • DEFAVE. Whatever doubt may attach to the
Faentine origin of the plaque in the hotel Cluny, dated i475>
there can be none in respect to the pavement of San Petronio :
the fact of the name Petrus Andrc-dc-Fave occurring, independent
of the others, upon a piccolo cartcllo seems to us an indisputable
proof to that effect. It is painted with great skill, in a style of
colouring and with ornaments which we are accustomed to
attribute to Faenza; trophies, animals, heads, the arms of
Bologna and her motto, the keys of St. Peter, and various devices
are represented ; among them the silver case of lancets on a
green field, and the wounded vein, imfirese of the Manfredi family
of Faenza.

Referring the reader to the full explanation given in the intro-
duction to the large catalogue of Maiolica, we can give here only
a few brief remarks upon the wares attributed to Faenza under
the following heads : —

A. The produce of the Casa Pirota.

B. By Baldasara Manara.

C. Pieces by the painter of the Correr service, and of his

botega.

D. By other artists presumably of Faenza.

E. Wares of the last century and modern.

A. One of the most important if not the leading establishment
at Faenza was known under the name of the Casa Pirota, and
probably existed from an early period, but when and by whom
founded, and the name of its maestro, we have yet to learn. A
house on the north side of the principal street (where a pottery
was working some few years since, at which we have seen well-
executed reproductions of the old wares) was stated by the
proprietors to be on the site of that ancient botega, but whether
there is sufficient foundation for this statement we are unable
to say.

The greater part or nearly all the pieces known to us as being



MAJOLICA.



167



marked with the crossed circle, signed with the name of the
house, or executed by the same hands as such pieces, are of a
marked character of decoration ; the wide borders are generally




J



\ A,



\t> '.■"



ornamented with grotesques, reserved in white and shaded with a

brownish yellow ; or reserved in a paler greyish tone heightened

with white, on a dark blue ground. A bcrcttino and sopra azzuro

are the terms applied to this mode of

decoration, and among examples of

the former and perhaps earlier of

the styles, are works of the highest

quality of enamelled pottery and of

admirable decoration and artistic

painting. The woodcut is from a

good plate of about 1520; at South

Kensington, no. 1734: and we give also a copy of the mark on

the reverse.

The work of at least three painters is discernible upon the
wares of this establishment. First and foremost are those
charming pieces of the greatest technical excellence by the



L»fS^ "'"



W\ " V







asszl



i63



MAJOLICA.



painter of the shallow bowl at South Kensington, no. 354, which
is marked at the back with the crossed circle, having a pellet in
one of the quarters, and has for subject, Mutius Scoevola. By
him are other pieces similarly shaped and decorated with borders
of grotesques reserved in white, shaded in brownish yellow on
the blue ground, and central subjects painted in a similar tone.




We next have the author of the fine plateau, no. 7158, and of
the better examples of those abundant pieces having central
subjects painted in a greenish yellow tone on the bcrettiuo, or
coats of arms emblazoned, and wide borders covered with
grotesques in a lighter tone heightened with white on the dark
blue ground. This artist also ventured into bolder subjects upon



MAiOLICA. 169

plaques of considerable size, two of which, one representing the
Adoration of the Magi, are in the British museum ; over a portico
which forms a background to the composition, the crossed circle and
pellet, mark of the fabrique, and the date 1527 are inscribed, while
on the reverse is a yellow roundel between the letters B. B. F. F.
and the same date. Rather earlier, is the plate (in the woodcut
p. 168) which although by some attributed to Caffaggiolo, is
probably of Faenza. The richly decorated back leads to this
conclusion.

Not to be confounded with these masters, the last of whom by
way of distinction is known among amateurs as the " green man,"
are works by a more able artist who painted in colours of the
richest tone with admirable disposition and vigorous design, and
who also signed with the same initials. The finely treated
subject of the Gathering of the Manna, on the plate no. 7680, is
by this hand, whose works are neither ornamented at the back,
nor signed with the mark of the fabrique.

L // ,r /

/




B. The first notice we have of Baldasara Manara occurs in
Zani's " Enciclopedia Metodica," in which work, under the name
of Mannara, he refers to the signature of the artist upon a sotto



170 MAI0L1CA.

cofipa with the accompanying mark. This tazza, now in the
possession of the writer, is perhaps the most important signed
example known, and represents the triumph of Time ; it is one of
a service decorated with orange scale-work on the yellow ground
of the reverse, and of which other pieces still exist.

C. Wanting the inscribed name of the locality at which they
were painted, we are quite prepared to acquiesce in the maturely
considered opinion of signor Lazari, that the beautiful service,
1 7 pieces of which are in the Museo Correr at Venice, and other
works painted by the same admirable early artist were produced
at Faenza. They perfectly agree with the qualities lauded by
Garzoni at the approximate period of their production, one of
them being dated 1482 ; and no wares of that period could in
their qualities of enamel be more worthy of the expression bianche
polite than the pieces of this service. We have no clue to the
name of the painter. That they were the production of a botega
distinct from the Casa Pirota seems assured, from their dis-
similarity in technical quality and style of ornamentation to the
wares of that productive house, and the absence of its distinctive
mark ; but there is great similarity in their glaze and other details
to the pieces painted by another excellent hand who signs with
the letters F. R.



fir ^ = r-



^



D. A multitude of homeless casuals have been attributed to
the workshops of Faenza, from technical characteristics and
manner of decoration, while as many more of somewhat different
complexion have been promiscuously charged upon Urbino.
Our ignorance of the exact localities of their production from
want of evidence leads to this doubtful generalization, and
until the discovery of signed specimens by the same hands, or
documental record, we must still in numerous cases rest content
with our assumption.



MAJOLICA.



171



Many early pieces, modelled in high relief and in the round,
are probably of this origin. The very fine tazza, represented in
the woodcut, is a good example. They differ from parallel pieces
ascribed to Caffaggiolo in a certain rigidity of modelling, the use of
a shading and outline of a darker or more indigo-like blue, and a
free application of yellow and orange pigments \ a more gothic
sentiment also prevails from the influence of the German school,




and we find subjects copied or derived from the works of Diirer,
Martin Schon, &c, more frequently upon the higher class of
Faentine wares than on those of painters working at the more
southern centres of the art. The contemporary pieces of
Caffaggiolo are more Italian in sentiment, the blue pigment of
greater brilliancy, a purple also used, and a thicker glaze of great
richness and more tendre effect.

From an early period Faenza seems to have produced a large



172 MAJOLICA.

number of electuary pots and pharmacy bottles ; a pair are in the
hotel Cluny, one bearing the name Faenza, the other 1500.
Many of these vases are decorated in the style known as a quartzere,
being divided into compartments, painted in bright yellow, &c,
on dark blue, with foliated and other ornament, and usually
having a medallion with profile head or subject on one side,
under which the name of the drug in gothic lettering is inscribed
on a ribbon. A curious example is in the British museum ; a
large flask-shaped bottle of dark blue ground with yellow leafage
and with twisted handles, upon the medallion of which is repre-
sented a bear clasping a column, with the inscription " et sarrimo
boni amici" allusive, in all probability, to the reconciliation of the
rival houses of Orsini and Colonna in 15 17.

We would here refer to the frequent occurrence on these
vases, as occasionally upon other pieces, of pharmaceutical and
ecclesiastical signs, letters, &c. surmounted by the archiepiscopal
cross and other emblems which we believe have reference to the
uses of monastic and private pharmacies for which the services
were made, and not to be confounded, as has been too frequently
the case, with the marks of boteghe or of the painters of the piece.
These emblems have no other value to us than the clue which
they might afford to patient investigation of the locality and
brotherhood of the conventual establishment to which they may
have belonged, and among the archives of which maybe recorded
the date and the fabrique by which they were furnished. But
what are of far greater interest are those admirable early pieces,
painted by ceramic artists of the first rank, who, beyond a rare
monogram or date, have left no record of their place or name ;
and whose highly-prized works, for their authors are several, are
jealously guarded in our public and private museums. Some ot
these, with reasonable probability, are believed to have been
executed at Faenza. Several examples are preserved, of an early
character, perhaps the work of one hand, who marked them on
the back with a large M crossed by a paraphe. They are usually



MAJOLICA. Jn

plateaux with raised centre, on which is a portrait head, or
shallow dishes with flat border. Variations of the letter F are
found on pieces, some of which are fairly ascribable to this
fabrique, but we need not point out the fact that many other
localities of the manufacture can claim the same for their initial
letter, and that the characteristics and technical qualities of the
pieces themselves are a necessary test.

Later in the sixteenth century, when subject painting covering
the whole surface of the piece was in general fashion (istoriata) r
the unsigned works produced at Faenza are difficult to distinguish
from those of other fabriques. Some examples exist in collections,
as one in the Louvre with the subject of a cavalry skirmish and
inscribed 1561 in Faenca, but we have no knowledge of their
painters, and even the occurrence of the name of that city is but
rarely met with. Her wares are usually richly ornamented on the
back with imbrication, as was the manner of Manara, or with
concentric lines of blue, yellow, orange.

E. Of the pottery produced at Faenza during the seventeenth
and the last century we have but little record. Some pharmacy
vases are mentioned by M. Jacquemart signed " Andrea Pantales
Pingit, 1616," but the signature does not appear to be accom-
panied by the name of that city. In 1639 Francesco Vicchij was
the proprietor of the most important fabrique.

A modern establishment professes to occupy the premises of
the ancient Casa Pirota, where we have seen fairly good repro-
ductions of the ordinary sofira azzuro plates of the old botega, but
these are but weak imitations, and the glory of Faentine ceramic
art must be looked for in museums.



CHAPTER XVI.

Forli, Ferrara, etc.

The first notice we have of the pottery of ForlI is merely in-
direct, occurring in a document referred to by Passeri and dated
as early as 1396, a passage in which speaks of John Pedrinus
xi formerly of the potteries of Fori! and now an inhabitant of
Pesaro ; " thus proving that such a manufactory did exist at the
Former town previous to that date ; but it does not inform us
whether it was more than a furnace for the production of ordinary
wares. Piccolpasso refers to the painted majolica of Forli, and
there can be no doubt from the examples we still possess that
at the time he wrote, in the middle of the sixteenth century,
it was well known as one of the important fabriques of northern
Italy.

Our next evidence is more direct, and consists of a series of
examples in the South Kensington museum, the careful com-
parison of which has led to the conclusion that the wares pro-
duced at the botega of Maestro Jeronimo (?) at the latter end of
the fifteenth and early part of the sixteenth century were of a
very high order. That numbered 7410 is the finest piece with
which the writer is acquainted, part of an historical service
made for Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, whose arms are
emblazoned on the rim. It has hitherto been a question as to
which of the early manufactories the production of this service
could be attributed, but we think that there can be no hesitation,
after a comparison with other pieces, in classifying it as a pro-



MAJOLICA.



175



Auction of Forli. The pretty plate no. 1803 (engraved) ap-
proaches nearer to the manner of the finer wares of Forli than to
any other fabrique with which we can connect it, and the pave-
ment of tiles no. 30, on which occurs the date 15 13, is remark-




able, as shown in the next engraving, for the portrait heads intro-
duced, one of which is that of the celebrated Melozzo ; the other
may perhaps be that of the artist who executed the work, and who
is unquestionably the same as the painter of the M° zero plate ; from
an inscription of doubtful reading it may be understood that he
signs this work as " Petrus," while the letter R, the initial of his
patronymic, occurs with P at the side of what may be intended
for his portrait.

Mr. Barker had a plate, from the Delsette collection, subject



176



MAJOLICA.



the story of Alexander and Roxana, on which is inscribed " Leo-
chadius Solobrinus picsit forolivia mece 1555;" and in the
museum at Bologna is a basin on which is painted a repre-




r SGO-P1G1WE ri^YS-T V




NMAGiltf A c 8 vA*E FIi



a a €2 t w P - 1 /a 1 hi PRl V * ^~





—a. *- JL W -^ -'i.^ »W» m « -3- % .w" —



^ illy M

^yixo -x— x ^ - —



. o/f I ^^\YXJ




sentation of the supper at which Mary Magdalene washes Jesus 7
feet ; on the back it is signed by the same artist, with the date
1564. This is the latest signed and dated piece of the fabrique
with which we are acquainted.

Potteries are said to have been established at Bologna and
Imola, and pieces have been ascribed to them. A plate is in a



MAIOLICA. i 77

French collection, well painted and of about the year 1500,
which has the name of Ravenna on the reverse.

Passing to the northern duchies of Italy we find that Alfonso I.,
duke of Ferrara, found means, notwithstanding his troubled and
warlike rule, to establish a fabrique of Maiolica at his castle in
Ferrara. Although the precise period of the introduction of
the art is unknown, as early as 1436 the name of "Maestro
Benedetto bocalaro in Castillo" is recorded; in 1472 one Enrico,
and in 1489 Gio. da Modena, are named; while in a me?nori'ale
of expenses in 1443 occurs the first mention of painted and glazed
wares. A curious document in the archives of Mantua, dated
1494, tells us that Isabella (d'Este), wife of the marquis of
Mantua (Gonzaga), had sent a plate which had been broken into
three pieces to be repaired at Ferrara by the Maestri working at
the castle ; this was done, and the mended plate returned at the
desire of the duchess of Ferrara with another as a present.

From 1506 to 1522 the artistic works seem to have been dis-
continued, probably on account of the wars in which the duke
was engaged: and from 1534 to 1559, during the reign of
Ercole II., the work does not seem to have been encouraged.
Pietro-Paolo Stanghi of Faenza is the only artist recorded, having
made the ornaments to a stove in the castle ; but Alfonso II.
took more interest in the manufacture, and Vasari speaks of the
fine productions of his furnaces. Nearly half a century then
passed away before we hear of fresh experiments in the pro-
duction of porcelain directed by M°. Camillo, of Urbino, assisted
by his brother Battista, and which seem to have resulted in
success. When injured by the accidental explosion of a cannon,
which ultimately caused his death and that of three gentlemen
in 1567, he kept the secret, refusing to divulge it. This event is
mentioned by Bernardo Canigiani, the ambassador of the Flo-
rentine court, who speaks of Camillo da Urbino as a maker of
vases, painter, and chemist, and the true modern discoverer of
porcelain, " Ritrovatorc 7iioderno alia porcellana." It would seem,

N



178



MAJOLICA.



however, that his brother, Battista, must have known something
of the process, which he may have been able to perfect by expe-
riments, for it appears that between 1568 and 1569 the work was
continued, as on the 17th December of the latter year an entry is
made of an unusual allowance of wine for a workman engaged in
preparing the ingredients "per far porcellani? The cruet or
vase, here engraved, is of about this period ; it is at South Ken-
sington, no. 505.




It is greatly to be regretted that we have at present no clue by
which we can, even with probability, attribute any of the examples
of maiolica in our collections to the earlier works of the Faentine
artists produced under Alfonso I. at Ferrara; the more so as
both under his reign and under that of Alfonso II. the fabrique
was conducted, not with a view to profit or commercial enterprise,
but simply from princely magnificence and a love of art. The
produce was for their own use, and for presents among friends,
but not for sale ; we may therefore conclude that it was of highly
artistic and great technical excellence. This was exceptional
among the potteries of that period in Italy, most of which were
commercial undertakings, more or less patronized and encouraged



MAIOLICA. 179

by the ruling families of their several localities. Some Ferrarese
pieces have doubtless been preserved, and are probably now
classed among those of Faenza with which they must have a great
affinity.

It is not till 1579, when the art was in decline and when the
Urbino style of ornamentation prevailed, that, on the occasion of
the marriage of Alfonso II., it is believed that a crcdenza was
made, the pieces of which are to be recognized by bearing the
device of a burning pyre with the motto " Ardet cetcmum" The
pieces of this service have a distinctive character of their own,
and although their connection with Ferrara may be merely one of
ownership and not of origin, we think it well to class them under
that head because we have no other standard to which we can
attach all that is known of the history of that princely botega, and
because these pieces have, in default of positive evidence to the
contrary, been accepted as Ferrarese. They are remarkable for
the purity of the white enamel ground ; the grotesques are by
another hand than those on pieces universally believed to be of
the later period of Urbino or of Pesaro, but they are not easily
distinguished without examination of the specimens side by side.
Two pieces are in the Louvre, two others are at South Kensington.

Alfonso II. died in 1597, after which the dukedom was
absorbed into the States of the Church. The Este removed to
Modena, to which place the contents of the palace at Ferrara
were carried, including the old maiolica, some of which is men-
tioned in inventories of the seventeenth century. A few pieces
which escaped destruction during the French invasion of Italy
were gathered from neglected corners of the palace, and placed in.
the public gallery of Modena in 1859.

Although the antique pottery of Modena is referred to by
Pliny and by Livy, we have no exact record or marked example
of wares produced there during the period of the renaissance.
Modenese artists in terra-cotta worked at Ferrara, and Cristoforo
da Modena was boccalaro to the duke of that territory in the



180 MA 10 LIC A.

sixteenth century. Piccolpasso names Modena as a place where
maiolica was produced, but whether of a superior or of a more
ordinary kind we are not informed. In the last century Gemi-
niano Cozzi, of that city, was the leading maker of porcelain at.
Venice about 1765, but the monopoly granted to the fabrique of
Sassuolo impeded the manufacture of enamelled wares elsewhere
in the duchy.

At Sassuolo, a town prettily situated ten miles to the south of
Modena, an establishment for the manufacture of enamelled
earthenware was introduced by Gio. Andrea Ferrari in 1741. It
would seem that he obtained from the duke Francesco III. the
right of making ordinary white and painted maiolica, as the
stanniferous enamelled wares were then universally denominated,
to the exclusion of all rivals in the duchy and all importation
from other parts, except during the fair held at Reggio. The
work commenced in 1742, and in a few years he was joined by
Gio. Maria Dallari. Their rights were from time to time renewed,
and in 1756 confirmed to the extent of granting the monopoly ta
the family for three generations ; the materials were not to be
charged with import duty, and the advantages secured to the
fabrique were further extended in 1761 by even excluding the
foreign wares from the fair at Reggio ; the manufacturers on their
part being bound to supply the duchy with an abundance of good
wares at moderate prices. These wares produced were various,,
among others finer pieces painted in the Japanese style and with
flowers and gilding ; groups of figures were also made, and a large-
export business carried on.

From a document in the Archivio della camera di commercio,
it would appear that the art was introduced at Mantua about
1450, and that its workers had their statutes which were altered
and amended from time to time ; but we are quite unable to
judge of the character of the wares produced. They were pre-
sumably of an inferior quality, for we have already seen that
Isabella D'Este in 1494 procured maiolica for her own use from






MAI O LIC A. 18 j

Ferrara, Urbino, &c, which would argue that the pottery of
Mantua was inferior. In the second half of that century
Schivenoglia mentions a bottcga di Maioli\ conducted by one
Zonan Antonio Majolaro, and remains of a furnace with frag-
ments of wares were discovered in 1S64 on the riva al Lago
inferiorc, from whence a small plate was procured, painted with a
female bust, arabesques, &c. Campori suggests that the impresa
adopted by Francesco Gonzaga after the battle of Taro, namely a
crucible in a fire and containing ingots of gold, may be a dis-
tinguishing mark of the Mantuan faience even of a later period.

Our knowledge of the production of Maiolica, or rather of
artistic enamelled pottery, in Venice may be said to begin with
the year 1540. Previous to that date there can be little doubt
that the Venetian ovens produced enamelled wares of greater or
less merit, but we have no sufficient record of their character.
M . Jacquemart believes that works existed at Venice as early as
the second half of the fifteenth century, arguing that if the
qualities of the Venetian pottery were of so high an order at that
period as to induce the inventor of the celebrated bianco di
Ferrara to order vases for his own pharmacy, it must have been
developed and perfected from an earlier date. But signor Lazari
•considered that the examples of glazed tiles existent in the sacristy
of the church of Sta. Elena at Venice, having the arms of the
Giustiniani family and dating about 1450-80 ; as also those in
the Lando chapel of S. Sebastiano, having a monogram and the
date 1 5 10, and other examples anterior to about 1545, were
importations from Faenza or from Castel Durante ; an opinion
shared by the writer after a careful examination of those pave-
ments. The woodcut, however, p. 182 represents a very fine dish
which we may reasonably ascribe to Venice ; of about the year
1540 : now at Kensington, no. 4438.

Sir William Drake quotes a petition, dated 1664, from the
guiid of the " Boccaleri " of Venice, in which reference is made to
previous decrees in their favour issued in the years 1455, 1472,



l82



MAIOLICA.



and 1518, prohibiting the importation of foreign earthenware ;


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