New catalogue devoted to The Courtauld’s collection of Italian Maiolica and Early Modern ceramics

1 Nov 2023

The Courtauld is delighted to announce the publication of the first catalogue devoted to its collection of Italian Maiolica and Early Modern ceramics.

Maiolica is one of the most revealing expressions of Renaissance art and the extraordinary pieces in The Courtauld’s collection showcase brilliantly the skill of potters and pottery painters working at the time of Raphael and Titian.

The collection includes a magnificent group of vessels made during the high Renaissance, the golden age of Italian maiolica, and includes precious and delicate Deruta lustreware with imagery deriving from Perugino and Raphael, as well as vessels painted in a narrative style of pottery painting known as istoriato.

All major Renaissance pottery centres are represented in the collection, including Siena, Faenza and Venice, as well as splendid examples of the mysterious pharmacy jars made at the foot of the mountain of Gran Sasso in the town of Castelli d’Abruzzo. There are also handsome examples of Spanish lustreware, lead-glaze from France and Ottoman pottery.

The volume includes an introductory essay on Italian Renaissance maiolica by the leading scholar on the subject, John Mallet, as well as an essay by Elisa Paola Sani and Alexandra Gerstein, Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Courtauld Gallery, on the Victorian collector Thomas Gambier Parry, which sheds new light on the development of this fascinating collection, connecting Gambier Parry’s artistic practice to his collecting and revealing new insights into his taste as a connoisseur.

The detailed catalogue entries by Elisa Paola Sanialso reveal affinities and influences between different pottery traditions and uncover a wealth of new information on the provenance of the pieces.

Italian Maiolica and Other Early Modern Ceramics in the Courtauld Gallery is available to buy now in The Courtauld Shop.

Highlights from The Courtauld’s collection of Italian Maiolica and Early Modern ceramics are on display in The Blavatnik Fine Rooms on Floor 2 of The Courtauld Gallery.