Italian production from the 17th to the 19th century is exhibited by region: for each century the most representative centers, manufactures, makers, stylistic and decorative typologies are represented. During the 17th century the success of decorative themes developed during the Renaissance continued, such as the “Raphaelesque” decoration or the “istoriato” genre and the evolution of the “whites” of Faenza. The ceramic centers multiplied from the south to the north of Italy, bringing out a popular trend characterized by brightly colored decorations and rapid pictorial workmanship, exemplified by the production of devotional and everyday pottery.

The 18th century was the century of technological innovations with the introduction in the ceramic field of new materials, porcelain and white earthenware, which enjoyed immediate success and are richly documented in the exhibition. Oriental porcelain was admired and collected throughout Europe for centuries, but its composition remained a secret until the early 18th century, when the first European manufacture of hard porcelain was planted in Meissen, Saxony.

Soon the “secret” of porcelain spread throughout Europe and even in Italy, where the first manufactures were born in Florence, Naples, Nove di Bassano, Venice, Este and Turin. Beginning in the second half of the eighteenth century, white earthenware became popular, referring to its origin in Staffordshire around 1740. Its refined ivory tone allowed the realization of finely pierced or modeled artifacts in relief, as well painted and decalcomania decorations in blue or brown, especially on large tableware.

maiolica tried to keep up by finding new inspirations in porcelain both for the shapes and the decorations, with the introduction of colors “low firing technique” (a third firing of the artifact in reduction of oxygen, with a temperature of 700 degrees).

The distinctive feature of the 19th century was a widespread eclecticism aimed at the recovery of many themes of past centuries, especially for the 16th century maiolica. In Faenza, a peculiar trend of “painting on ceramics” developed, with incredible pictorial effects, richly represented here.


  • Achille Farina, Wall oval

  • Upstand

  • Amore e Psiche

  • Amphora

  • Coffee service, Benucci and Latti factory

  • Vase, Finck Factory