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Italian handpainted volcanic stone tables Higuera Imports has the latest innovative designs in teak furniture Italian travertine and antique terra cotta tables
Italian handpainted volcanic stone tables Italian Majolica Ceramics Italian travertine and antique terra cotta tables
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All about Deruta

The town is located about 9 miles/15 kilometers south of Perugia, Umbria on a hillock that overlooks the Tiber Valley. The old village is set against the historic fortifications and has the three gates in the traditional defense system layout that leads into the old centre. The civic towers loom above the walls, together with the bell tower of the Gothic-style San Francesco church, consecrated in 1388.

Central, square-plan Piazza dei Consoli opens with a handsome fountain (1848) and continues with Palazzo Comunale, which houses the municipal picture gallery. This boasts an important collection of paintings from the churches of San Francesco, Sant'Antonio and the San Giacomo hospital. The most interesting nucleus comprises a part of the Lione Pascoli collection. There are also works by Alunno, Perugino, Baciccio and a Guido Reni. Further on, next to the church, there is the former convent of San Francesco, which houses the regional Alunno, Perugino, Baciccio and a ceramics museum since 1998. Here a wealth of materials and culture are to be seen, classified in chronological order from the Middle Ages to 1930. This is an especially qualifying and significant itinerary, with thematic inserts that go from flooring to great ceremonial dishes, from loving goblets to tableware, fruit bowls, salt-cellars, tankards and pharmacists' vases. Ancient Via Tiberina, at the lower edge of Deruta, is the location where the new town developed, especially in the 1950s, with numerous craft workshops for producing artistic majolica, which is the craft most of Debut's inhabitants are involved in, even today.

The History of Deruta pottery

Production of ceramics in Deruta goes back centuries. There is documentation of this art form dated 12 August 1290 and states that there was "payment in kind" with "unam soumam vasorum". This was the archaic period with production of objects of common use: jugs, bowls, basins, covered with geometrical and zoomorphous decorations. The dominant colors are copper-speckled green and manganese brown.

Deruta majolica achieved the apex of its magnificence in the centuries that followed and in the 1500s spread throughout major cities and not just in Italy. Artists like Giacomo Mancini (El Frate) and Francesco Urbini sign works of great significance. Ceremonial dishes, loving goblets, birthing sets, noble crests, present a repertory of motifs with female figures, mythological scenes, battles and religious images. Numerous, diverse and original decorations span through floral, zoomorphous and grotesque, floral volutes, overlaps of peacock feather eye, crown of thorns, wolf's tooth, petal back. In the meantime the palette of colors was enhanced with orange, blue and yellow. Luster technique began to emerge, with splendid golden glimmer in the most valued works.

Floors, such as that in the church of San Francesco at Deruta (1524), Santa Maria Maggiore at Spello and the Sacristy at San Pietro in Perugia, are all further testimonies of the best quality Deruta majolica production. Over the centuries, style and decoration evolved into the "Compendiario" of quick strokes and the "Calligrafico" of Moorish inspiration with interwoven leaves, flowers, arabesques, birds and other animals.

In the eighteenth century a period of decline arrived, but this notwithstanding the reaction of Gregorio Caselli can be noted, with the establishment at Deruta of a factory of fine pottery for producing imitation porcelain. After the Unification of Italy there was a significant recovery thanks to the commitment of Angelo Micheletti, Alpinolo Magnini, David Zipirovic and Ubaldo Grazia. The products Higuera Imports brings to you are a modern example of the top quality levels that Deruta majolica has achieved over the years.

The History of Deruta


The origins of Deruta are still in part obscure, as shown by the various names that it has taken over time: Ruto, Ruta, Rupto, Direpta, Diruta, which means "ruined". The name Deruta appears to derive from the last in the list. Certainly it has deep-rooted ties with Perugia, whose southern bulwark it has always been, out towards Todi. The fortified appearance is a surviving testimony of this role. In the thirteenth century Deruta had its own Statute, followed in 1465 by a new document in the vernacular. A series of outbreaks of plague in the mid-1400s wiped out the population and even brought about a reduction in the town's fortified walls. During the Salt War (1540), Deruta took sides against the Pope and was pillaged and destroyed. When Perugia became subject to the Church, Deruta also enjoyed a long period of peace. This was precisely the time when manufacturing of artistic majolica developed and took Deruta into the international limelight.

 

   

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