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The pottery tradition of Montelupo Fiorentino

    It would be impossible for anyone to appreciate and fully comprehend the value and arts and crafts content of articles produced by Ceramiche Virginia if we would leave aside the huge collective heritage consisting of the historical ceramic tradition of Montelupo Fiorentino.

    Montelupo was born and developed as a center of pottery production of the “Contado” of Florence. Its history, its evolution, its spaces, the lives of its inhabitants, the history of its workshops have always been linked and influenced by the fate of this activity.
    The numerous testimonies, the legal documents, artistic and literary ones and the complex historical stratigraphy derived from the study of large quantities of pottery found in excavations such as the great “well of washing”, attest to the importance and value had by the activity of Montelupo potters throughout history.

    Starting from this ancient history,  the pottery producers Companies from this land, carry forward their own work by connecting the past to the future in continuation of this great artistic tradition.

    Historical notes

    Ever since the Neolithic (5000 BC) man uses baked clay to make household items: tools, techniques, materials, shapes, patterns, evolve over the centuries, following the historical and cultural development of peoples.
    During the twelfth and thirteenth century in Italy there was a profound technique transformation leading from production of unglazed manufactured to production of glazed pottery involving the development of more complex work organization leading to the creation of centralized production.

    Between the second half of the fourteenth century and the early decades of the fifteenth, archaic majolica became a common gender, its production became widespread assuming the character of fine ceramics. In the second half of the fifteenth century it became a exceeded gender and it gave the way to a kind of production inspired to majolica imported from Spain.

    With the first Renaissance some increasingly refined polychrome decorations, developed, they were decorative motifs inspired mainly to eastern ones some of which will be abandoned only at the end of the seventeenth century.
    During the seventeenth century the succession of historical events, the evolution of artistic taste and the appearance of first signs of the impending economic crisis led to the abandonment of renaissance polychromy which was followed by a drastic reduction of production determined by the outbreak of the crisis and the consequent loss of many workshops.

    During the eighteenth century ceramic production was an activity performed by some manufacturers, implanted by noble families, which, using modern criteria, started an high quality production intended for an elite class.

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