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Deruta Ceramics

History of Deruta Italian Ceramics

 

Deruta Historic Ceramics

Deruta Ceramics Beginnings in History

 The ceramic art is one of man’s most ancient activities. Countless works have been created in our country using just a handful of clay and a little fire. From the definition by Giuseppe Liverani, a ceramics expert, who uses the term "ceramics" to denote "the earth on which human workmanship and the consolidating action of fire intervene, to transform it into objects with a practical and ornamental purpose derives the identification of the three elements necessary for the process whereby clay is transformed: earth, human workmanship and fire. Hence it may be said that the ceramic art is, above all, the expression of a manual activity which, if originally of a practical character only; subsequently however became primarily ornamental.History of Deruta Ceramics

Its very nature, fragile, yet not perishable, has meant that in the subsoil of various areas inhabited by man, even in remote times, strata containing ceramic fragments have been built up over the years. A careful archaeological survey of these remains can provide us with an impressive amount of data which may be used to build up a picture of the socio-economic, as well as artistic, characteristics of the life of a particular group of people.

It should also be said that even though pottery, being an expression of human workmanship, is considered an artisan product, in many cases, over the course of the centuries, man has created unique artifacts of such beauty that they can be defined as genuine masterpieces. If the ceramic art is one of the oldest in the world, then Italy without doubt represents one of the most distinguished birthplaces of this human activity. In countless villages and kilns, new techniques have been created and tested, new clays experimented with, new shapes designed, new enamels and new glazes tested, new colors used and new decorations designed and painted. Against this backdrop, in a position of the utmost importance and distinction, lies Deruta, without question one of the most noble and ancient centers of ceramic production, whose name is in fact celebrated not only by scholars and enthusiasts but is now known worldwide.

 For centuries its kilns have been turning out outstanding masterpieces, housed in museums, in private collections and antique galleries in all five continents, and today, more than ever before, tourists flock in their thousands to visit its factories, the museum and the artisan workshops lying at the foot of the old village, as undeniable proof that, despite the passing of time, Deruta has managed to preserve unchanged those characteristic traits which have made its name acclaimed throughout the world. Situated in the heart of Umbria, a short distance away from Perugia, it stretches along the Via Tiberina, which, following the path of the Tiber leads to Rome. Its strategic position in the vicinity of a communication route which has always represented one of the major road axes of central Italy, has indisputably played a role of the utmost importance in its productive development.

Historically; the fate of Deruta has always been tied to that of Perugia, as a castle of the larger city, and, on more than one occasion, was directly subsidized and fortified by the Perugian government. Its hills rich in clay, its convenient communication routes, the vicinity of such an important city as Perugia, were, as already outlined, probably among the most important contributing factors in determining the extraordinary development of its ceramic activity, whose origins can be traced back to the Roman age. It does in fact seem that whilst road works were in progress, a large quantity of Roman amphorae were unearthed, some of which are now preserved in the Town Hall.

The Archaic Production of Deruta

The Development of Deruta Majolica from its Origins to 1940

The first reliable documentation to bear witness to ceramic production in Deruta dates back to the Middle Ages. A document of 1290, one of the oldest to came to light, informs us that the church of San Nicolo in Deruta, subordinate to the chapter of the cathedral in Perugia and therefore obliged to pay an annual tribute, paid it with a load or vases. It is not possible to establish for how long this practice had existed, but it does suggest that ceramic activity in the Deruta area was widespread, established and well-known.p017a.jpg

Thanks to research carried out at the Perugia State Archive by Orietta Boini in 1976, an important document has been traced dating back to 1336: a notarial protocol drawn up by Giovanni Contucci, a notary from Deruta, it contains evidence that the guild of potters was thriving and throws light upon the relations which existed with the Perugia College. The Franciscan Archive in Assisi also contributes to outlining the mediaeval production in Deruta.

 A written document dating back to 1358 makes mention of a certain Cecce O'Alessandro, a potter who sold hundreds of pieces of pottery to the friars at the convent, including yellow vases, white vases, green amphorae, small white jugs, small basins and other earthenware, for which the friars also paid the transport expenses from Deruta. img-pagina-storia-deruta.jpgFrom the point of view of qualify, it is difficult, given the present state of research, to give a precise connotation to the mediaeval production of Deruta, though on the basis of the fragments available for examination, overall it does not seem to diverge much from that of central Italy.

Even if Orvieto was probably the Umbrian center where forms of the archaic style found their widest expression, with decorative motifs, at times of an elaborate nature, being proposed in several variations (alongside the simple vegetable and animal decorations drawn in green and brown, more complex representations such as monsters and mermaids do in fact appear), the numerous finds discovered in the Deruta subsoil allow for the identification of a fairly simple production.

These consisted of, for the most part, objects for everyday use such as vases, wine and water jugs, bowls and basins and the decorations, in the typical two-color scheme of the archaic style, depict on the whole geometric motifs and rapid stylizations of flowers and leaves.

 

History of Italian ceramics

History of Italian ceramics: from deruta The Sixteenth Century Part I

It is no easy undertaking to discuss the production of Deruta, attempting to summarize the essential connotations which distinguish it during that which is considered to be its most splendid age in terms of artistic activity, without diminishing its excellence, given the variety, richness and diversification of production which characterize its development during the 16th century. Wimg-storia-ceramica-sito-2.jpgithout dwelling on specific questions relating to iconographic sources, social destination of the artifacts, attributions or similarities with other productions, a general outline will follow of the most salient features of the Deruta types which were to have such a profound influence on the production of the twentieth century.

 Petal Back As mentioned above, the Petal Back Group, whose first pieces appear to date back to the last quarter of the 15th century, signals the arrival of a new era for the ceramic art in Deruta. We are at the dawn of that which was to be one of the Umbrian town’s most successful periods, distinguishing itself with a production of such quality that it was acknowledged and appreciated even outside the national context.

Despite the persistence of the Gothic elements which characterize the first phase of the production, the Petal Back Group can be considered as a fully Renaissance type. Its name alludes to the typical decoration which often ornaments the reverse side of the open shapes and consists of large ovoid petals, striated crosswise in blue and orange, alternating with doffed triangular infill elements, sometimes with asterisks in-between. The decorations are various and diversified: one of the most common patterns consists of concentric bands around a central subject. These bands can be made up of various geometric elements, rope-like decorations and “fish-bone” motifs, or of festoons in which recur rigid leaves similar to laurel, inflorescences, knots and, more generally; all the motifs which were later to be elaborated in the course of the 16th century both in the lustreware and in the polychrome production.

The shapes include display plates, bowls, saucers, ewer basins, albarellos, two-handled vases and spouted jars. Lustre It was at the end of the 15th century that the Deruta ceramists began to apply the Lustre which was to become the pride of Deruta majolica. Lustre has the appearance of a gold, silver or red metallic patina, and was applied to majolica which had already been fired and painted in a third firing at a fairly low heat (500-620 degrees) in a reducing atmosphere. Lustre is one of the most refined decorative techniques used on Islamic ceramics. It consists of a type of decoration obtained on an object which has already been fired and involves the application of a very fine film of metallic particles which, after reduction in the fire, produces effects of various colors, according to the type of metal used. The variety of the iridescent phenomena depends on the quality of the salts and oxides used: yellow Lustre is obtained from silver salts and oxide; copper red Lustre from copper salts; yellow-gold or reddish yellow Lustre from combinations of silver and copper compounds.

To achieve the iridescent effects, a combination of natural resins with the metals themselves is necessary. Of Arabic tradition, but imported by Spain, presumably at the end of the 15th century; this technique was widely used in Deruta, the Italian center from which the first known examples originate. The img-per-sito.jpgpink-toned lustre plaque depicting Saint Sebastian preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is in fact dated 1501, and a small jug with the emblem of the moor’s head, housed in the British Museum, dates back to the following year. The technical- decorative quality of these two pieces is so refined as to suggest a practice in the use of Lustre already consolidated over some years.

 The Deruta lustreware, (apart from these first Examples) has an intense golden hue, generally combined with blue to recreate the typical two-color scheme of the Spanish products, thus distinguishing it from other productions in full polychrome. There is a great variety of lustreware types: ewer basins, saucers and small bowls with “belle donne”, coats of arms, letters and images of saints. Around the central subject develop radial decorations consisting of the “dog-tooth” motif, small arches, curved leaves and inflorescences created by overlapping ovals, probably a stylization of the carnation. Peacock feather eye decorations and arabesques made up of curved leaves interspersed with small daisies are also common.

 

However the best-known lustreware is represented by the ornamental “display plates”, whose wide border often decorated with wreaths, small arches and compartmentalized motifs, frames a central subject in which lavishly-depicted female busts now appear of a type which can be traced back to models by Perugino and Pinturicchio’s, or cartouches bearing proverbs, moral maxims and exhortations, images of saints, knights, episodes in the life of Christ, mythological scenes, male busts, allegories and coats of arms. Among the latte~ the most frequently found are those of the Orsini, the Ranieri and the Baglioni, old Perugian families. Aesop’s fables are also depicted, whilst bawdy and humorous subjects are less common.

 

 

History of Italian ceramics 3

 History of Deruta ceramics: The Sixteenth Century Part II

Deruta Polychrome Production In the Sixteenth Century

The pavement of San Francesco and the pavements of the church of Santa Maria in Spello, and San Pietro in Perugia. Even though Deruta is particularly famous for its lustreware, it should not be forgotten that alongside the latter is a polychrome production of an extremely high standard. Shapes and decorations are for the most part repeated: in general, we find the same objects and the same motifs which characterize the lustreware production, through an appearance is also made by plates decorated with grotesque sepia- colored on a blue background, new versions of the late fifteenth-century I/white on white" decoration, as well as the so-called "crown of thorns", consisting of a green vine-shoot knotted into a wreath, and other floral decorations. From 1500 onwards the I/floral volute motif is also common, which in the 20th century would be reworked and widely circulated, going by the name of "Ricco Deruta". Additional mention should be made of the production of the storiated ware, of which Giacomo Mancini, known as "el frate", was the declared author in that he signed in full a series of pieces executed both in lustre and in polychrome, dating back to the years between 1541 and 1545.

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The polychrome masterpiece of Deruta Renaissance majolica production is the pavement of the church of San Francesco which was found, unfortunately only in part, beneath the flooring of the church of the same name in 1902. It consists for the most part of tiles in the shape of crosses and eight-pointed stars fitted together: In the former appear arabesques and foliage, while the latter contain figurative motifs such as prophets, muses, Olympic divinities, saints, allegorical figures and male and female profiles. Blue-colored shades are in the clear majority and on the border appears the date 1524.img-per-sito-3.jpg

The fact that many of the tiles are missing prevents a complete understanding of the iconographic significance of the pavement as a whole, even though it has recently been ascertained that its author, conventionally known as the II Master of the San Francesco pavement, completed this work with the assistance of other painters, using various prints, including, to be more precise, several depictions inspired by the frescoes in the Perugia Exchange, the famous series of engravings known as the II Mantegna tarots and other graphic material.

The Mancini workshop was also responsible for the pavements in the sacristy of San Pietro in Perugia and the high altar in the church of Santa Maria in Spello, dated 1536 and 1566 respectively. Iconographically quite similar, the decorations are arranged in a carpet-like pattern with decorative bands of knots and arabesques around the border enclosing areas of elaborate grotesques with winged horses, genii blowing trumpets from which issue flames, winged putti arranged symmetrically around a central candelabrum and grotesque masks’9. Among the colors, yellow and orange tones are prevalent and combine perfectly with the unrefined, yet extraordinarily vivacious, decoration. The two pavements thus reflect the general trend of Deruta majolica which, from the second half of the century, is specifically characterized by an ever decreasing accuracy in the drawing, and by a vivacity which at times touches on caricature.

These characteristics are evident in the numerous display plates, both lustre and polychrome, img-per-sito-4.jpgmany of which can be attributed to the Mancini workshop, and also in numerous votive tiles whose personages allude closely to the figures on the pavements. The appearance of these particular tiles represents the prelude to a tradition which, in the centuries to come, was to lead to the extraordinary flourishing of ex-voto offerings for the Madonna dei Bagni in the environs of Deruta.

If you would like to see more ceramics follow the link to the National gallery of art tour: Italian Renaissance Ceramics web site.

 

 

 

 

 

History of Italian ceramics 4

 

History of ceramics: The Seventeenth Century

Slight Decline in the Ceramics Taste and Areas

 

 Deruta majolica does not appear to have undergone a decline in terms of quantity in the 17th century and favored as it was by its privileged relations with sanctuaries of international importance such as San Francesco in Assisi and San Pietro in Perugia,  and by its now well-established reputation, the Deruta potters produced enormous quantities of earthenware, ranging from the humbler production for kitchen use, to that decorated with the motifs currently fashionable. However although reduction is not affected from the point of view of quantity, it does show a substantial modification as regards taste and the social destination of the articles. There is still a demand for refined artifacts, but a production intended primarily for markets and fairs prevails.img-per-sito-6.jpg

 

The shapes become more fluid with bean motifs and plastic applications, and salt-cellars in the shape of small caskets, buildings, dragons and shells appears as do shoe-shaped inkstands, and "drink if you can" vessels and leaf-shaped whistles. Polychrome production takes precedence over lustreware, and in its output of ordinary earthenware, the Deruta ceramists adhere enthusiastically to the most common decorative types of the age: the compendious style, originating from Faenza, and the Raphaelesque from Urbino. Both were interpreted by the Deruta potters with ironic and light brushstrokes, which, in brown or blue, highlight anatomical details with caricature-like insistence, giving rise to a rapid, ironic and popular style.

 

The palette is enriched with a bright green unlikely to be found elsewhere. The great courtly and mythological subjects of the previous century are reinterpreted in a lively narrative vein and the celebrated Raphaelesque motif destined to play a role of the utmost importance in the twentieth century Deruta production, is expressed within irony totally lacking in other centers. This type,which appears to originate from Urbino, consists of an elaboration on a white background of the grotesque motif from the school of Raphael. In Deruta it is widespread around the mid-17th century.

 

Another decoration which, as mentioned above, is usually found in Deruta’s seventeenth century production, is the compendious style, as demonstrated by two plaques with a religious subject dating back to the end of the 16th century and a series of votive tiles to be attributed to the second half of the century; preserved in the church of the Madonna dei Bagni. The style of the epoch is manifested in the even sketchier and more concise strokes of the depictions, executed with almost caricatural intent.

Important differences in terms of quality are not in fact found between the ex-voto offerings and the contemporary majolica tableware. The figures on the tiles, so ingenuous and homely are the same which people the elegant pieces in the compendious and Raphaelesque styles: deep basins, large, slightly flared plates, and footed dishes. The Madonna dei Bagni also appears, even if more rarely in association with a typical seventeenth- century decoration of oriental origin known as "calligraphic", with animals chasing one another through flowers and clumps of stylized vegetation, derived from the blue and white Chinese porcelain of the I/Wanlil/ period.

 

 It was imported to Europe by the Portuguese and the Dutch. Calligraphic decoration first became widespread at the beginning of the 17th century in Delftware and, owing to its close trading relations with Portugal and Holland, in the majolica of Liguria. The Deruta version, even though sometimes very close to that of Liguria, especially when it is in monochrome blue, is for the most part differentiated by the greater rapidity and vivacity of the brushstrokes.  Calligraphic decoration is mainly produced in monochrome blue, yellow, orange and green, but also appears in a two-color scheme, and on occasion surrounds a polychrome center.

 

History of Italian ceramics 1700

 

History of ceramics: The Eighteenth Century

Stylistic and Productive Decline but Improvements As Wells

 

The activity of the Deruta potters still continues in the 18th century. However the historical literature relating to Deruta majolica insists on considering the 18th and 19th centuries as periods of great stylistic and productive decline. Even if it is true that ceramic activity suffers in this period from stiff competition from other Italian centers, which introduce decorative motifs inspired by oriental porcelain, such a negative judgment may well be influenced by the productive wealth of the previous centuries, which tends to throw the subsequent expressions into the shade.

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The first decades of the century see the continued elaboration of seventeenth century motifs which, in the late Compendious phase, are enriched with new elements such as bean motifs, more fluid forms, landscape representations and a marbled use of color. The production takes a decisive upturn towards the middle of the century as a result of the production of Gregorio Caselli.

Notwithstanding the dearth of information relating to this artist, his contribution seems to restore to Deruta majolica that pictorial formalism which had been lost during the compendious phase. The oldest work he signed dates back to 1749 and although characterized by elements still typical of the seventeenth century; a new rigor of forms is manifested in the definition of the figure. The transition towards decidedly more original types is documented by two subsequent works: the first, housed in the Ducal Palace in Urbino, is the plaque which was once the sign of the artist’s workshop. Dated 1769, it bears the inscription "Fabbrica di Majolica fina", the second is a wash basin on exhibition in the Deruta Regional Museum decorated with floral motifs, in keeping with contemporary taste. Interesting evidence of the diffusion of oriental decorations is also provided by the footed dish with Chineserie preserved in the Deruta Museum and dated 1772 or 1775.

The stylistic differences between the first piece by Caselli, dated 1749, and the numerous subsequent works bearing the mark of his workshop, shows visible lack of conformity in the elaboration of the decorative technique and in the choice of motifs, However a votive plaque of 1777, housed in the church of the Madonna dei Bagni, confirms that a certain G. Meazzi, a skilled decorator was employed in the Caselli workshop. His numerous plaques, in which formal brushstrokes, landscape representations and skilful marbling emerge as distinctive elements of his style, span a period of almost forty years. However the Caselli workshop does not have a monopoly on the 18th century production in Deruta: the existence of a second factory manufacturing "Majolica fino" dating back to 1771 and owned by P. Bravetti is in fact registered.

Unfortunately there is no precise information on its activity, and the catalogue of works attributed to it, consisting for the most part of devotional plaques, is fairly meager. The relevant literature also provides information on the continued activity of the Mancini family until about 1750 and mentions a certain Sante Martinelli, author in 1792 of a votive plaque dedicated to the Virgin of Pompeii . Finally the Deruta regional Museum preserves a Fragment of a pilgrim’s flask, dated 1765 and signed by Angelo De Lupis.

 

 

Italian ceramics : the 19th century

 

History of ceramics: The Nineteenth Century

Demand for Majolica Declines Sharply

 

In the 19th century European culture is swept by a wave of historicism which, if in German, France and England was to be translated into the total re- evaluation of the mediaeval period and Gothic art, in Italy was to assume more specific characteristics. The art of the 15th and 16th centuries is favored and the early Renaissance celebrated as a moment of national glory. This approach was to involve the applied arts of well, and consequently the ceramic art. In the first decades of the century the Deruta production was experiencing a time of great difficulty.

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Like most Italian ceramic centers of ancient tradition, it suffered the effects of the acute market crisis brought about by an increased demand for porcelain or the cheaper earthenware, to the detriment of artistic majolica. This led to the gradual, but inexorable impoverishment of the artistic, technical and decorative heritage of the previous centuries. The most elaborate and sophisticated types were lost or laid to one side {the last examples of lustreware, for example, date back to the 17th century}, and the pictorial and decorative tradition which in the past had made Deruta famous, was temporarily put on hold. In 1854, Bianconi, a contemporary historian, describes the situation thus: "nowadays, the production of majolica there is very small and has declined, numbering on five workshops of white enameled earthenware".

From the numerous kiln rejects discovered in the course of a recent archaeological excavation, a production emerges which generally consists of tableware fragments, white for the most part, with the occasional addition of simple decorations such as filleting, sponging or floral motifs stencilled in blue, red and green. There were undoubtedly plenty of attempts made to execute more complex decorations, as demonstrated by the tea set shown in the photo, the oval plate preserved in the Deruta regional Museum dated 1853, with floral designs at the center and flower sprays drawn around the border or the plate signed by A. Angeli, depicting classical architecture or, finally; a fairly refined majolica tabernacle on which appear a host and the inscription "oleum sanctum".

However, apart from these few example, a revival of artistic production in Deruta still appears a long way off. Results showing some degree of promise did not even appear as a consequence of the Commune of Deruta’s venture to organize an Industrial Prize Exhibition in 1872, with the aim of promoting "the encouragement and improvement of the manufacture of majolica in the town".

Although not rescheduled in subsequent years, this event was, however a sign of renewed and gradually increasing interest, especially on the part of the local authorities, who observed the need to enhance and reanimate Deruta’s artistic tradition. A contribution to this same end was also provided by studies and research carried out in this period, relating to the origins of Deruta pottery. The first publications in the 1860s by French ceramics experts, motivated perhaps by the Louvre’s acquisition of the Campana collection, were followed, in the years Immediately after by research, articles, essays and a monograph.

 

Italian ceramics: The Twentieth Century

Italian Ceramics Revived in the Town of Umbria 

 

It was, however, thanks to the talent and commitment of the illustrious personages who worked in and around Deruta in, this first half of the twentieth century that the will to revive the Umbrian towns great artistic tradition succeeded, in some way in becoming a concrete reality. Angelo Micheletti was the first to work to this end. He arrived in Deruta in about 1880 img-per-sito-9.jpgto practice as a doctor but was only to begin his artistic activity some twenty years later. A great art enthusiast, he was actively commit ted" to getting underway the process of reviving a cultural and historical identity which he saw in Deruta had now been compromised. He became the interpreter of a design and of aspirations which went beyond individual sentiment.

He made himself promoter of the Deruta question which, according to his intentions, should have included three stages: the re-acquisition of technical skills in the field of ceramic painting and decorating; the encouragement of artisan manufacturers to take an economic initiative; the promotion of historical and cultural research linked to the creation of the ceramics museum, which was actually set up in about 1900. Devised by Francesco Briganti of Deruta, one of the most significant figures in Umbrian twentieth century culture, the museum was founded with the aim of serving the artists of Deruta, the history of art and the honor of Deruta, the illustrious home of majolica. Through a publicity campaign aimed at obtaining donations, repository pieces and archaeological finds, a first nucleus of works comprising 214 objects was accumulated. Micheletti himself was nominated curator of the museum and was entrusted by the Town Council with compiling the general catalogue of all the objects contained

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in the Museo Artistico pei lavoranti in maiolica. On his death, this task was undertaken by Francesco Briganti and subsequently by Alpinolo Magnini, but notwithstanding the continued interest in the museum, it was only in the 1940s that initiatives aimed at acquisition, cataloguing and research were promoted once more. The time was not yet ripe for the achievement of the second goal, which aimed at the economic involvement of the Deruta maiolica makers in this phase of artistic-cultural renaissance. In fact, despite the great stir made by the first artistic attempts carried out by Micheletti himself, who, as well as being engaged with some success in the first lustre experiments, had undertaken personal reworking of Renaissance subjects, the Deruta artisans lacked the awareness and maturity to acknowledge fully the importance of a commitment in this direction. Micheletti himself in those years wrote as follows: ". ..the new life proved languid and difficult through the fault of inertia, and the traditional mutual envy and jealousy inherent in the potters' craft which forces them into ruinous competition.

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The initiatives aimed at the re-acquisition of technical skills in the field of ceramic painting and decoration met with greater success. In 1903, with the intention of retraining a new generation of painters and decorators, and thanks to the collaboration of interested entrepreneurs, persons of culture and young t1Jlents who, together with Micheletti, worked to this end, the "Communal School of Design" was set up and got underway under the direction of Alfredo santarelli29, one of the greatest exponents of the twentieth century ceramics of Gualdo Tadino. At this school, the training of craftsmen was aimed primarily at the revival of antique and traditional types and the imitation of Renaissance models. A revivalist production of display plates, love trophies and plaques with a sacred subject dates back to the early years of the 20th century. Conspicuous among the authors are the ceramists E. Pignatelli, Desiderio Visoni and, above all, Professor Alpinolo Magnini, who, assisted by Uboldo Grazio, dedicated himself to a refined production of lusterware.

In this transformation phase of Deruta ceramics, on the one hand reaching out towards a revival of the antique tradition and on the other hand seizing at any sign of renewal in taste and culture, emerges the decisive figure of Alpinolo Magnini. Born in 1887 to an important Deruta family at the end of the century he followed the courses in applied art run by the /industrial Artistic Museum" in Rome. His first works include the project for the ceramic altar frontal in the church of San Francesco in Deruta, whose creation involved the collaboration, apart from that of Magnini, who elaborated the sketch, of Micheletti, who executed it and, indirectly also that of Briganti, son of Prior Carlo who commissioned the work. This was the beginning of the association between the three, and the frontal, as Micheletti himself recalls in an autobiographical document, was raised as a symbol of the new Deruta renaissance.

 Having finished his studies in 1901 Magnini seems to have directed his energies towards the search for new artistic expressions in ceramics. A subject very dear to him from the outset is the portrait, which is developed in different styles in successive periods, as demonstrated by two very elegant plates in the Art Nouveau style with female faces, and the series of portraits of Famous personages which he painted in Loveno between 1903 and 1907, exhibited today in the regional Museum. His teaching post at the "School of Industrial Design" in Loveno, allowed him to broaden his study and critical reading of the history of ceramics and permitted him to focus his ideas on a production which was both modern and yet at the same time anchored to the traditions and to the culture of the past. On his return to Deruta in 1907, he was entrusted both with the direction of the Communal School of Design, and with the position of curator of the Communal Museum. Three years later in 1910, he became technical and artistic director of the "Societa Anonima Maioliche Deruta. This is the period which sees the foundation of those factories which were to mark Deruta's artistic and economic history in the 20th century.