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MAI O LIC A. 115

■existed in respect to these altar-pieces in rilievo, and were
inclined to the belief that although some of the smaller lustred
works may have been modelled by Giorgio the larger altar-pieces
were really only imported by him. Judging from the most
important which we have been able to examine, the " Madonna
del Rosario " portions of which are in the museum at Frankfort-
on-the-Maine, it seemed to approach more nearly to the work of
some member of the Delia Robbia family. This fine work is in
part glazed, and in part coloured in distemper on the unglazed
terra cotta, in which respect it precisely agrees with works known
to have been executed by Andrea della Robbia assisted by his
sons. There are no signs of the application of the lustre colours
to any portion of the work, but this might be accounted for by
the great risk of failure in the firing, particularly to pieces of such
large size and in high relief. Be this as it may, from a further
consideration of the style of this work and the record of others,
some of which are heightened with the lustre colours, and the fact
stated by the marchese Brancaleoni that a receipt for an altar-
piece is still preserved in the archives of Gubbio, we are inclined
to think that history must be correct in attributing these important
works in ceramic sculpture to M° Giorgio Andreoli. If they were
his unassisted work, he deserves as high a place among the modellers
•of his period as he is acknowledged to have among artistic potters.
To go back twelve years in the history of the products of this
fabrique, we have in the South Kensington museum a very
interesting example of a work in rilievo, no. 2601, a figure of S.
Sebastian, lustred with the gold and ruby pigments, and dated
1 501. Notwithstanding its inferiority of modelling when com-
pared with later works, we are in little doubt that this is by M°
Giorgio's own hand, agreeing as it does in the manner of its
painted outline and shading with the treatment of subjects on the
earlier dishes, believed to be by him. We must also bear in
mind that an interval of twelve years had elapsed between this
comparatively crude work, and that beautiful altar-piece whose

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excellence causes us some doubt in ascribing it to his unaided
hand ; and we may observe at the same time an equal [difference



an the merit of his own painted pieces. The small bowl here
engraved is of about this period, and is characteristic of a style of

-ornament commonly found upon Gubbio ware. This is now at
South Kensington. We add also another piece, no. 8906 ; well
worth the attention of a student, as exhibiting the full power

attainable by the introduction of the lustre tints. The yellow has
,a full rich golden tone, and the ruby a pure vivid red.

Passeri states that Giorgio brought the secret of the ruby lustre


with him from Pavia, and M. Jacquemart infers that he must have
produced works at Pavia before going to Gubbio; but we are
inclined to think with Mr. Robinson that it was from an artist
previously working at Gubbio that he acquired the art and
the monopoly of the ruby tint ; and it is by no means improbable
that this artist, or his predecessor, may have emigrated from
Pesaro as stated above. The following conclusions arrived at by
Mr. Robinson after the careful study of a vast number of
examples of the Gubbio and other works are endorsed by the
writer, who, having contributed some few of the facts upon which
those conclusions were based, has himself examined the contents
of the principal European collections. Those conclusions are : —

i st. That maestro Giorgio did not invent the ruby lustre, but
succeeded to and monopolized the use of a pigment,
used by an earlier artist of Gubbio.

2d. That the signed works were really painted by several
distinct hands.

3d. That his own work may be distinguished with approxi-
mate certainty.

4th. That probably nearly all the " istoriati " pieces (1530-50)
of Urbino, Castel Durante, or other fabriques, en-
riched with lustre, were so decorated by a subsequent
operation at the Giorgio botega ; and,

5th. Consequently, the use of lustre colours was mainly
confined to Gubbio, where painted wares by Xanto
and other artists working at Urbino and other places
were sent to be lustred.

Before entering upon the subject of maestro Giorgio's own
works it will be necessary to glance at the earlier productions of
his predecessors and probable instructors. In the absence of
more positive evidence of the manufacture of early lustred wares
at Pesaro, and with a view to keeping all the lustred wares to-
gether as much as possible, we have thought it more convenient


to include in the large catalogue those pieces which may probably
have been made at that city among the lustred wares of Gubbio,
always affixing to each such piece the name of Pesaro and of
Gubbio with a (?), and arranging them as a separate class. And
in order to facilitate the methodical study of the rise and
development of the art at Gubbio we have classified the lustred
wares in the following manner, and in probable sequence of
date : —

A. Works ascribed to Pesaro (or Gubbio ? ), the typical

" bacili " referred to by Passed, &c.

B. Works believed of the early master who preceded M°

Giorgio at Gubbio.

C. Works ascribed to maestro Giorgio's own hand.

D. Works of the fabrique, and pieces painted by unknown

artists, though bearing the initials of the master.

E. Works by the artist signing N. and by his assistants.

F. Works painted by other artists at other fabriques, and

subsequently lustred at Gubbio.

G. Works of M° Prestino, and of the later period.

Of the first class A. are those early " mezza-maiolica " dishes
having a lustre of a peculiar pearly effect : these are frequently
painted with portraits and armorial bearings, and have by many
writers been ascribed to the Diruta potteries. At South Ken-
sington, no. 7160 is a characteristic example of the usual type,
while in no. 1606 we have an early specimen of the ruby lustre.
On the back of no. 3035 is found the only mark with which I am
acquainted on pieces of this class ; the well-known Gubbio scroll
executed in manganese colour on the course yellow glaze.

Class B. is important as connecting the former with the works
of the Gubbio furnaces. No 7682 is a typical piece, bearing
another variety of the Gubbio scroll mark in dark colour.

Class C. contains of course the cream of the manufacture,
being the works assigned to M° Giorgio's own hand. The

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museum series is very complete, containing specimens from the
earliest period of his unsigned work. The deep tazza and large
plateau, both of which we engrave, are admirable examples of
this period. The first dated piece in any collection which we
have every reason to believe a work of maestro Giorgio, is the

rilievo of S. Sebastian (shown in the woodcut, p. 116). Other
but undated works in rilievo exist, which, as in this instance, are
heightened with the gold and ruby pigments. The earliest
example having a mark which may perhaps be that of Giorgio,
and painted by him, is a small plate in the possession of Mon-
signore Cajani; a central medallion with half figure of S. Pe-
tronio, surrounded by a border of the style of the early wares,
beautifully and carefully drawn and lustred with ruby and gold ;



it is marked at the back with a sort of G, intersected by a cross
and a paraphe, or flourish : see p. 122.

We now come to the period of Giorgio's signed pieces, some of
the first of which show to what perfection he had brought his art.

The earliest known signed and dated piece is in the collection of
Mr. Robert Napier j the border is decorated with trophies, &c.
among which occurs the date 15 17 written in blue, while at the
back 15 18 is pencilled in lustre colours. Another plate of the
same service and having the same initials of the owner, a piece ot
exceeding beauty for the quality of the lustre colours, is in the

122 MA 10 LIC A.

British museum; we give (p. 123) a facsimile of the central initials
and of the date on the back : and also a woodcut (p. 124), from
a small tazza at South Kensington of about the same period.

Mr. Robinson speaks of this specimen as " being of the most
perfect technique of the master ; and that, although he was not
a powerful draughtsman, yet this single piece would suffice to
establish his claims as a colourist."

M° Giorgio's manner of decoration consists of foliated scrolls and
other ornaments terminating in dolphins, eagles, and human
heads, trophies, masks, &c. ; in the drawing of which he exhibited
considerable power with great facility of invention. These
" grotesche " differ materially from those of Urbino and Faenza,
approaching more to the style of some of the Castel Durante
designs. In the drawing of figures, and of the nude, Giorgio
cannot be ranked as an artist of the first class. From 15 19 his
signature, greatly varied, occurs through succeeding years. It
would be useless to repeat the many varieties, several of which will
be seen in the large catalogue and among the marks on speci-
mens in other collections. We believe that to whim or accident
may be ascribed those changes that have tasked the ingenuity of
connoisseurs to read as other names. His finer and more im-
portant pieces were generally signed in full " Maestro Giorgio da
Ugubio " with the year, and sometimes the day of the month.


About the year 1525 he executed some of his most beautiful
works ; perhaps the finest large dish, and of the highest quality
which has been preserved to us, was lately in the possession of
the baronne de Parpart ; we understand that it has been sold for

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^880. In that piece a rich grotesque border surrounds the
subject of Diana and her nymphs, surprised by Actaeon ; on p. 125
is a fac-simile, half size, of the signature at the back.

In the next division D. are the works of the fabrique under
Giorgio's direction, and pieces which though manifestly painted
by other hands are signed in lustre with his initials or full signa-

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ture. We have no means of learning what part his brothers under-
took in the manufactory. A separate division has also been formed
•of the works ascribed to or signed by the artist who used the
letter N, variously formed, as his monogram. Mr. Robinson has
ingeniously suggested that this letter, containing as it does the

three, V I and N, may really have been adopted by " Vincenzio,"
the only one of his sons known to have assisted. He succeeded
M° Giorgio in the fabrique, where he was generally known as M°
Cencio. Brancaleoni states that he worked with his father till 1536,
when he married and set up for himself. There is little doubt
that although M° Giorgio may himself have occasionally applied
the lustre pigments with his own brush to the pieces painted by


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other artists at other places, the majority of those so enriched
were executed by his son or assistants. M. Darcel thinks that
this practice did not begin earlier than 1525, in which view we

are inclined to agree.

Under division F. will be found works of this kind, among which
the more interesting at South Kensington are no. 8886, a fine
portrait plate ; 4726 having the painter's date and mark, and that
of him who lustred it ; the very remarkable plaque 520, the work
of Orazio Fontana, with the monogram of Giorgio ; and the small
plate 8907, dated in lustre colour as late as 1549.

The last division G. contains works ascribed to him, and
examples of the decadence of the lustred wares.

Before closing our observations on the splendid products of this
abundant pottery, we will refer to several marks which occur on
pieces in all probability made and painted there but some of which
we are unable to explain. A plate with bust portrait of a warrior r


in the collection of M. Meurnier, of Paris, having four coats of
arms on the border and the letters Y. A. E., is inscribed on the
face with the name " Gabriel . da . Gubbio." This doubtless is a
portrait plate, and the letters may allude to the families or indi-
viduals whose arms are blazoned. " Gualdo " is said to be in-
scribed on a brilliantly lustred specimen which we have failed to
trace, and pieces in the Louvre have been doubtingly classed
under that name by M. Darcel. A man's head, rudely sketched
in lustre colours, occurs on the back of a plate in the British
museum, more probably an artist's whim than an intentional mark.
The letters MR combined occur on a lustred piece, perhaps a
monogram of M. Prestino. The letter P, variously formed, may
also probably be his initial.

About 1560-70 the use of the lustre pigments would seem to
have been almost discontinued ; the secret of their proper com-
position and manipulation was lost during the general decline of
Italian artistic pottery, and the death of Guid' Ubaldo II. in 1574
was the " coup-de-grace " to the already much deteriorated wares
of the duchy.

Those beautiful colours, known to the Italians as "rubino,"
" cangiante," " madreperla," " a reverbero," and to the French as
" reflet metallique," " nacre','' &c. have been to a certain extent
reproduced. Unfortunately many pieces made in the manufactory
at Doccia have, after chipping and scratching, been palmed upon
unwary amateurs as ancient specimens by unprincipled dealers at
Florence and elsewhere. Some of these modern examples are in
the ceramic gallery at South Kensington. The most successful
reproduction of the famous lustre has however been made at
Gubbio itself by an able young chemist and artist, Luigi Carocci.
Some of his productions are excellent, though far from having
those artistic qualities so apparent in the finer specimens of
maestro Giorgio's work.

Although there can be little doubt that Castel Durante was
one of the earliest sites of the manufacture of enamelled pottery

MAI O LIC A. 127

in Italy, as well as one of the most fruitful not only of produce
but of those potters who in their own city, and at other establish-
ments founded by them in various parts of Italy, spread the fame
of the Durantine wares and the Durantine artists throughout
Europe, it is remarkable that so few pieces have descended to us,
upon which the names of their authors are recorded, or of the
" boteghe " in which they were produced. Long lists are given
by Raffaelli and other writers, but to identify the works of their
hands is generally denied us, from the absence of signed examples
by which their style can be known.

From Castel Durante came the Pelliparii who on establishing
themselves at the capital city of the duchy took the name of
Fontana, to which is attached some of the greatest triumphs of
their art. " Francesco," the able painter who probably worked at
Urbino and afterwards at Monte Bagnolo near Perugia, was as he
styled himself " Durantino." A new life seems to have been given
to artistic pottery in Venice by the immigration of a Durantine
artist Francesco del Vasaro in 1545 ; and evert later in the history,
when the independence of the duchy was oppressed and local
patronage had waned, another potter, M° Diomede Durante, tried
his fortune at Rome. Others went to France, Flanders, and Corfu,
spreading the art which attained important development at Nevers,
at Lyons, and other French centres.

Castel Durante, which rose from the ruins of Castel Ripense in
the thirteenth century, took the appellation of Urbania under the
reign and in compliment to her native Pope, Urban VIII. It is
now a small dull town on the banks of the Metauro, on the post-
road from Urbino to Borgo San Sepolcro, and about thirteen
Italian miles distant from the former city. The alluvial banks and
deposits of the river furnished the material for her pottery.

Signor Raffaelli, in his valuable " Memorie," surmises that the
manufacture of glazed pottery, as an art, was introduced at the
time when monsignor Durante built a " Castello " at the badia of
St. Cristoforo at Cerreto on the Metauro, in 1284, as a place of

128 MA 10 LIC A.

security for the Guelphs. Seventy years afterwards in 1361 the
then deceased maestro Giovanni dai Bistugi of Castel Durante is
referred to, who probably was so named to distinguish him from
the workers in glazed ware. This glazed ware was doubtless the
ordinary lead glazed pottery or " mezza " ware, which preceded
the use of that with stanniferous enamel and does not, as M.
Darcel would suggest, afford any proof that the use of this enamel
was known here before its application or stated discovery by
Luca della Robbia. At that time even these lead glazed wares
were little known, and it was not till 1300 that they seem to have
become more generally adopted. Thenceforward their manufac-
ture continued, for in 1364 a work is mentioned on the bank of
the torrent Maltempo at " Pozzarelli," perhaps so named from the
pits dug for extracting the loam. The early wares were coarse,
painted with coats of arms and half figures, the flesh being left
white and the dress in gay colours. In 1500 both the "mezza"
and the enamelled wares, as well as the " sgraffio " work, were
made. The beautiful " amatoria " plate which we engrave was
about this date, and shows the beginning of a style of decoration
which afterwards prevailed in a more developed form at this
fabrique. The manufacture was at its perfection about 1525 and
1530, and continued to produce good wares even till 1580. It
would appear that the great artists only painted the more im-
portant subject of the piece, leaving the ornamentation to be
finished by the pupils and assistants.

Piccolpasso informs us that the earth or loam gathered on the
banks of the Metauro, near Castel Durante, is of superior quality
for the manufacture of pottery. A variety called " celestrina "
was used for making the seggers, " astucci," when mixed with the
" terra rossa ;" but for the finer class of work the loam deposited
by the river which when washed was called " bianco allattato,"
and when of a blue shade of colour, was reserved for the more
important pieces. The turnings of this variety mixed with the
shavings of woollen cloth were used to attach the handles and



other moulded ornaments, and was known as "barbatina." The
red pigment of Faenza, called " vergiliotto " was not used at
Castel Durante. We presume this colour to be that ochreous red
employed for heightening and shading the draperies, &c. by the
painters of the Fontana fabrique at Urbino, and that of Lanfranco

at Pesaro, and some others ; if so, the absence or presence of it
would be useful as evidence in determining the origin of a piece.

Signor Raffaelli thinks that many of the wares generally known
as of Urbino were so called from the province, and frequently
included those which were really the produce of Castel Durante.
Passeri also speaks in high commendation of the Durantine wares,
and Pozzi states that it was the rival of and only second to



Faenza in the quality of its productions. The fatal blow to this
branch of industry was the death of the last duke, Francesco
Maria II. in 163 1, when there being no longer a court the trade
declined, money became scarce, and the artists emigrated.

Of signed examples of the wares of Castel Durante, the earliest
piece known is the beautiful bowl belonging to Mrs. H. T. Hope
which was exhibited in the Loan collection. The ground of this
piece is of an intense dark and rich blue, entirely covered with a
decoration of grotesques, among which occurs a shield of arms
of the Delia Rovere family surmounted by the papal tiara and
the keys, proving it to have been made for pope Julius II.;
trophies of books, festoons of drapery and, above, a boy angel
holding a u veronica " or napkin impressed with the face of the
Saviour. At the sides other trophies, satyrs, cupids, and inter-
laced foliage are richly and harmoniously disposed, among which
are two labels inscribed respectively " Iv. II. Pon. Max." and
" Tu . cs . sacerdos . I tier." " In the design and execution of the
painting," says Air. Robinson, in his catalogue of that famous
collection, " splendour of colour, and perfection of enamel glaze,
this magnificent piece is a triumph of the art." On the same
occasion Mr. Morland exhibited a piece by the same hand, and
we think we recognize variations of the same manner in two
examples now in the South Kensington museum, nos. 1728 and

In the rich and even quality of the glaze, the tendency to that

form of decoration known as " a candeliere ; ' (as in the vase

engraved), mixed grotesques, trophies of musical instruments,

and cupids, in a style of painting which is free and at the same

time firm and sure, and in the full yet soft colouring, we see in

Mrs. Hope's bowl a commencement of what became a very

general manner in the decoration of the Durantine wares.

Of eleven years later we have the pharmacy jars which must

have formed portions of a large and important service, one of

which is in the British museum and another in the South Kensing-



ton. The signature on the British museum jar states, " Ne la botega
d Sebastiano d' Ma rf "or ia" and U A di xi de Octobre fece 15 19,"
and again at the base, "In Caste/ dura" On p. 132 is a woodcut

of a mark in yellow, on a plate in the same museum, on which is
the subject of Dido and Ascanius.

It would seem that this fabrique continued to flourish when
those of Urbino and Pesaro had comparatively decayed ; this may
partly have been owing to the encouragement given by the duke
Francesco Maria II. (1574 to 1631), who frequently resided at
Castel Durante and took some interest in the manufacture. It

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however only produced at this period works of more general
utility, artistic and ornamental pieces being the exception.

The wares of Castel Durante are generally to be recognised by
a pale buff coloured paste, and great richness and purity of the


W f> %?¥?

glaze. The plates (of which we give three woodcuts, from
examples at South Kensington, nos. 8947, 8960, and 413) are
rarely decorated at the back, but like those of Urbino and Pesaro
are generally edged with yellow on the subject pieces, and with
grey white on those having grotesques, which are in low olive tint
on a blue ground. The colours are sometimes rather pale but
harmonious and the carnations are of an olive tint, thought by
some a distinguishing mark of the fabrique; while the absence of
the ochreous red pigment so noticeable on the Urbino and
Pesaro "istoriati"' pieces is remarkable. In the draperies painted
upon these wares blue and ochreous yellow predominate.
Broadly treated grotesques and trophies of arms, musical instru-
ments, books, &c. frequently painted in ccimdiai of greenish grey


In n

on a blue ground, are favourite subjects of ornament; these also

occur painted in rich colours, among which a deep clear brown

may be noted, and surrounding medallions having portrait or



fanciful heads on a yellow ground. Subject pieces do not appear
to have been so abundantly painted at Castel Durante as at the
neighbouring fabriques, and such pieces to which the lustre
enrichment has been added are still less frequent.

Many of the tazze the whole surfaces of which are covered
with a portrait head may probably be assigned to this place,
where there would appear to have been one or two artists who
made almost a specialty of this style of decoration. The South
Kensington museum is rich in these portrait plates ; among them
is a remarkable example on which a likeness of Pietro Perugino
in full face is portrayed (p. 135) and which we are disposed to
assign to this fabrique, but always with some hesitation. Another
class of pieces which we believe to have been for the most part
made at Castel Durante is that ornamented with oak branches
painted yellow on a blue ground, and sometimes in relief, sur-
rounding a small medallion central portrait or imaginary head.

Castel Durante seems to have supplied a larger number of
pharmacy jars, vases and bottles, than any other fabrique perhaps



with the exception of Faenza. The blue and yellow draperies of
the earlier period were also a leading feature in the revival after

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