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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » February 23, 2010
Exhibitions
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Priceless Renaissance Ceramics Revealed
February 23, 2010   
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An exhibition of priceless Renaissance masterpieces which have never previously been shown in Poland opens at the National Museum in Warsaw March 19. The items on display are maiolica istoriato, or tin-glazed pottery painted with historical and legendary scenes, and graphic works inspired by Rafael, the great master of the Italian Renaissance.

Maiolica istoriato is widely considered as one of the most interesting techniques in the history of European ceramics. Developed in Italy at the end of the 15th century, it flourished as an art genre halfway through the Italian Renaissance. The founders of the technique, great Italian potters, painted mythological, historical and religious scenes on their products, taking works by Rafael and his apprentices as inspiration for the illustrations. Ornamented with colorful, shiny glazing, the ceramics depict popular literary themes in the 16th-century such as the Bible, Ovid and Livy. The works were synonymous with luxury and their owners included Italian dukes, the nobility and aristocrats. These ceramics were coveted by European rulers, adorning the papal court in Rome and the homes of Venetian aristocrats.

M.R.

Until May 16
National Museum in Warsaw, 3 Jerozolimskie Ave.
tel. (+ 48) 22 629-30-93 www.mnw.art.pl
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