MAIOLICA IN THE SHADOW OF RAPHAEL
John Mallet’s achievements in the field of ceramics are many as proved by his copious bibliography. It is however, his ground-breaking work in the field of istoriato maiolica of the 16th century and particularly his focus on the most important Renaissance maiolica-painters of the period, which has to be acknowledged as a major factor behind the resurgence of interest in this fascinating type of painting on pottery.
Our international online symposium, over two afternoons, will focus on John’s main area of research, istoriato maiolica or ‘narrative ware’. This extraordinary pictorial language flourished in the lands of the Dukes of Urbino, whose humanist court inspired Baldassar Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier and which was Raphael birthplace. The imagery created in Raphael’s workshop was such a powerful influence on istoriato, that it was once believed that Raphael and his pupils actually painted the wares, leading it to be called ‘Raphael ware’.
Most notable are John’s magisterial articles on Urbino istoriato. Applying the same method that art historians use for painting, he has been able to group stylistically many different istoriato painters, and give names to otherwise unknown important maiolica masters, including: The ‘In Castel Durante Painter’, ‘The Master of the Apollo Basin’, ‘The Milan Marsyas Painter’ and ‘The Painter of the Coal Mine Dishes’. John also has written extensively on the painters active in the workshop of Guido Durantino, around the art of the great Nicola da Urbino, on Francesco ‘Urbini’, on Maestro Giorgio of Gubbio and on Xanto — one of the most intriguing personalities in the world of ceramics, on whom John organised a ground-breaking monographic exhibition at the Wallace Collection in 2007. His catalogue of the maiolica in the Hockemeyer collection in Bremen is a landmark of scholarship.
The symposium will give particular emphasis to the relationship between istoriato and graphic sources originating in and around Raphael’s workshop, 500 years after the death of the Urbino master in 1520. Reflecting John’s wide-ranging knowledge and interests in many other fields of ceramics, the symposium will also feature lectures on European pottery and porcelain.
Notable speakers will include David Ekserdjian, Professor of Art and Film History, University of Leicester, Sir Timothy Clifford, former Director, National Gallery of Scotland, Karine Tsoumis, Curator at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, as well as John Mallet. Chaired by Timothy Wilson, Honorary Keeper, Ashmolean Museum of Art, Oxford, the symposium will also include an outstanding virtual tour of the exhibition Raphael Ware at Urbino Ducal Palace, curated by Claudio Paolinelli and Timothy Wilson, as well as brief tribute video links to John with curators from the Louvre Museum, Paris, The Bargello Museum in Florence, The Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Palazzo Madama, Turin, and Deruta Museum, who will speak alongside important samples of istoriato from their collection.
For more information, please contact the organiser Dr Elisa Paola Sani
Buon Compleanno John!
A full programme is available here. To attend the symposium, please register following the links below:
ZOOM REGISTRATION LINK for SATURDAY 7 Nov 2020:
ZOOM REGISTRATION LINK for SUNDAY 8 Nov 2020:
This symposium if free and open to all, but donations (here) are appreciated.
Image above: Dish with The Marriage of Ninus and Semiramis by Francesco Xanto Avelli, signed as painted in Urbino, 1533. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (1748-1855)
© Victoria and Albert Museum