The aim of this collection is documenting the main European centers of ceramic production starting from the 16th to the 20th century. The selected ceramics have been exhibited following their material (majolica, stoneware, creamware, porcelain) to facilitate the dialogue and comparison among the nations, which are represented through their excellence and peculiarity.
The European majolica opens the exposition displayed through Spanish lusterware, “white and blue” fancy chinoiseries of Delft, the “low firing” decorations mainly represented by the “rose motif”, that during the 18th century spread all over Europe from Strasburg to the oriental lands. Porcelain and creamware were the real innovations of the 18th century. Porcelain, desired for centuries thanks to the collecting of Chinese and Japanese vases, was the real “Queen of the whole century”.
In Europe the discovery of the hard porcelain was due to the German alchemist Johan Friedrich Böttger in 1708 in Meissen, followed by a quick diffusion through the main European manufactures. A similar commercial success was achieved by the creamware, which started to be produced in the Staffordshire starting from the Twenties-Forties of the 18th century. It was less expensive than porcelain, but more refined than majolica and, thanks to his warm whiteness it resulted to be the ideal material for the elegant neoclassical works. The European production of stoneware is brilliantly testified by a selection of jugs characterized by the typical salt covering ((Raeren, Colonia and the Westerwald region) created in the 16th – 17th century.
The 20th century distinguishes itself above in the first twenty years for the refined Liberty Style, which was diffused in many countries with different artistic results. A particular vision is shown by the Weimar ceramics, a production of potteries delimited in a short time, which was popular among several social classes, it was the example of an avant-garde art applied to the popular production.
The experience of Picasso in Vallauris is described to close this exposition, it conceptually anticipates the adjacent hall devoted to the international sculpture of the 20th century.