The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, December 3, 2021

Food for thought: Maiolica on view at the Georgia Museum of Art
Workshop of Guido Durantino, dish with Diana and her nymphs at their bath, 1541. Maiolica, 11 inches (diameter). Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Virginia Y. Trotter Decorative Arts Endowment, the William Underwood Eiland Endowment for Acquisitions made possible by M. Smith Griffith, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, and the Georgia Museum of Art Acquisitions Endowment. GMOA 2018.411.

ATHENS, GA.- Like a talented storyteller beginning his tale, a generous host invites visitors into the scene by setting the table with delicious food and decorated dinnerware. In Renaissance Italy, maiolica was the standard form of pottery used to serve these welcoming meals. The exhibition “Storytelling in Renaissance Maiolica,” on view at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia April 27, 2019 – January 5, 2020, contains several of these tin-glazed earthenware plates from 16th-century Urbino and Venice.

The catalyst for the exhibition was two pieces of maiolica the museum recently purchased with funds provided by the Virginia Y. Trotter Decorative Arts Endowment and the William Underwood Eiland Endowment. These works were made in the workshop of Guido Durantino (also known as Guido Fontana; active 1520 – 1576) and his son Orazio in Urbino, Italy.

Nelda Damiano, Pierre Daura Curator of European Art and curator of the exhibition, said, “The two dishes, representing mythological subjects, were purchased on the London art market, at a time when maiolica is experiencing a renewed interest and major exhibitions are highlighting its beauty and art historical value. We are extremely proud to share with our visitors maiolica examples of such high quality, produced in one of the most important workshops of the period.”

Islamic potters first developed the process of making maiolica around 800 BCE, emulating Chinese white porcelain. Islamic rule in Spain from the 8th to the 15th century spread the technique to Europe, including Italy. The technique requires covering a fired ceramic with a white glaze containing tin oxide. The result is a blank slate for decorating. Decorating this surface requires skill and determination. Fused glaze does not forgive mistakes. The final product is durable and remains bright and colorful for centuries. The plates in the exhibition, which come from lenders including the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, the Gardiner Museum, the Speed Art Museum and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, include a variety of colors from bright blue to sandy orange. During the Renaissance, Italian maiolica was affordable and sold at a large commercial scale.

The stories shown on these plates would have been familiar to contemporary audiences and often come from classical mythology or the Bible. The two pieces that the museum purchased depict mythological subjects from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a Roman narrative poem. In designing complex, figurative compositions and three-dimensional settings, artists often derived inspiration from prints and illustrations. Dining was considered one of the most important social activities of aristocratic life—an ideal occasion to demonstrate one’s elevated status, good taste, and erudition. Banquets featured multiple courses that required a large number of serving pieces to present and distribute the food, which was eaten with one’s hands. In composing the painted narratives, artists often exploited the varying surfaces and depressions of the piece on which it appeared to reveal the story sequentially, enhancing the impact of the imagery as the diner emptied the dish. Inscriptions appear on the backs of many pieces of historiated maiolica—recording the subject matter, date, site of production, artist, and excerpts from poetry—suggesting that diners might have turned them over during meals for more information.

Today's News

May 2, 2019

Tate announces four artists who have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2019

Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art launches digital archives initiative

Christie's to offer Apollo 11 Lunar Module Timeline Book

Sotheby's announces highlights from its May Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art

Drinks with Mona Lisa: A special night at the museum

Souls Grown Deep announces four new museum acquisition agreements

$13 million marks highest auction total for Prints & Multiples at Sotheby's since 2007

Food for thought: Maiolica on view at the Georgia Museum of Art

Jeff Wall's first exhibition with Gagosian opens in New York

Artcurial to offer a set of 15 pieces of art on paper entitled 'Salvador Dalí: Metamorphoses'

Tirana's 'pyramid' puts checkered past behind it for new tech future

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art exhibits recent works by Susan Schwalb and Caroline Kryzecki

Christie's sales of Post-War and Contemporary Art in Amsterdam total $8,750,736

Mitchell-Innes & Nash now represents Gerasimos Floratos

Brazil's 'godmother of samba' Beth Carvalho dies

Fort Gansevoort opens Zoya Cherkassky's first solo exhibition in the United States

Sebastian Errazuriz sculpture exhibition opens at the Elizabeth Collective

Luhring Augustine opens an exhibition of new paintings by Sanya Kantarovsky

Egyptian Queen, Frank Frazetta's 1969 masterpiece, may bring millions in auction debut at Heritage Auctions

Middle Eastern Art Week led by £5.4 million portrait of Suleyman the Magnificent & 12 artist records

Exhibition explores the inequalities in the global food system

Exhibition presents jewellery, glass and ceramics as envisioned by gallerists

Music as part of art - Winnipeg concerts

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful