Maiolica, the pottery of the Italian Renaissance, was decorated with extraordinary figural scenes and landscapes unseen before in the history of western ceramics. Enjoyed at the table of princes, cardinals and eminent art collectors, unique to all other arts of the Renaissance, its vibrant fired colours are still as fresh now as when they left the kiln 500 hundred years ago.
This lecture will look at The Courtauld maiolica, that once belonged to Thomas Gambier Parry, a Victorian artist and enthusiast for the arts of the Middle ages and early Renaissance. His collection, left in its entirety to the Courtauld Institute in 1966, consists primarily of important 14-15th century Italian paintings but also includes major Renaissance works of art; cassoni, ivories, glass and Islamic metalwork, as well as Italian maiolica. The collection was put together by Gambier Parry between the 1850s and 1870s and displayed in his estate at Highnam, Gloucester.
Elisa P. Sani served as assistant curator of ceramics and glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2006–2012) and was curatorial assistant at The Wallace Collection (2003–2006). She studied Art History in Italy, at Perugia University and then took a Ph.D. at Siena University on Italian Renaissance lustreware. Elisa’s main area of interest is Renaissance decorative arts. In 2011-12 she organised an exhibition on the V&A’s collection of Italian Renaissance maiolica and authored an accompanying publication (Italian Renaissance Maiolica, V&A Publishing, 2012). Most recently she was the lead author of Maiolica before Raphael (Sam Fogg Gallery 2017).