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This prestigious collection of Italian majolica was donated to the Pinacoteca in 2004 and 2007 by Luciano Franchi in memory of his son Francesco: a collection started in the 1970s, and whose high quality is due to the attention and sensitivity of the owner. The 194 visible pieces lead the visitor through the history of Italian pottery from the XIV to the XVIII Century, in an itinerary which reaches all of the main manufacture centers.
The first group of works represents archaic majolica , produced in north central Italy in the late Middle Ages, and graffito slipware, which grounds its roots in the Middle East.
The following pieces are a sampling of the refined tendencies in Renaissance majolica. The opulent decorations, due to the diffusion of art printings thanks to the newborn press, justify the name istoriato given to this new taste in majolica decoration: its greatest expression can be found in the”da pompa” plates with feminine portraits coming from Deruta . The same decorative tendency reappears in a more contained way in the ”whites” of Faenza , whose bright white stands out thanks to the usage of only three colours in the decoration.
Numerous pieces testify the majolica production in Lombardy, especially in Pavia and Milan: a tradition born in the XVII Century which became of great relevance in the following Century, with many prestigious workshops such a Rampini and Imbres, in Pavia, Coppellotti and Ferretti, in Lodi, Felice Clerici and Pasquale Rubati in Milan.
Another important centre for majolica is the region Liguria, represented by a collection of pieces from Savona : in Piedmont the first workshops appear during the XVII Century, but relevant productivity is reached only two centuries later with the Rossetti workshop , whose activity ceased during the XIX Century.

archaic majolica

Central Italy, Bacile, glazed terracotta with enamel cover, middle of XIV century.
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Deruta, Plate, painted polychrome majolica, second half of the XVI century.
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Faenza, workshop Virgiliotto Calamelli, Cup, painted majolica, third quarter of the XVI century.
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Pavia, Rampini manufactory, Round plate, polychrome painted majolica, end of XVII century, beginning of XVIII century.
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Lodi, manufacture of Anton Maria Coppellotti, Centerpiece, painted majolica, about 1745.
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Pasquale Rubati

Milano, Pasquale Rubati manufacturing, Round dish, polychrome painted majolica, 1765-1780.
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pieces from Savona

Savona, Ceremonial plate, painted polychrome majolica, the second half of the XVII century.
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Rossetti workshop

Torino, manufacture Giorgio Giacinto Rossetti, Round plates, polychrome painted majolica, around 1735-1740.
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