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Urbino ceramics - View of the city

Urbino is a lovely Renaissance hill town in the Marche region of Italy. It experienced a great flowering of arts in the 15th century, attracting artists from all over Italy and influencing cultural developments elsewhere in Europe.

Ceramic craftsmen, inspired by the subjects of popular paintings, took tin-glazed pottery to the highest lever, their works representing a pinnacle of Renaissance ceramic art.
Today, Urbino is still a place where arts and crafts hold a relevant place in the life of the community.

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Italian pottery - Ferrara, Italian city of ancient tradition of engraved ceramicsFounded by the Romans, its peak came during the 15th century when Duke Federico da Montefeltro established one of Europe's most illustrious courts and cultural centers.

Federico, nicknamed "the Light of Italy", imposed the principles of his humanist education, produced the most comprehensive library outside of the Vatican and supported the development of fine artists, including the young painter Raphael.

Urbino pottery - The Dukes of Urbino - Tempera panel (1465-66 - Galleria degli Uffizi - Florence)During Federico’s reign, a cluster of botteghe used local clay earth to manufacture simple tin-glazed pottery known as maiolica. After 1520 the Della Rovere Dukes encouraged Urbino craftsmen, who took majolica pottery sophistication to the next level and started exporting their wares throughout Europe, first in a manner called istoriato (historical scenes) then in a style of grottesche after the manner of Raphael's frescos at the Vatican.

Urbino pottery - Dish with childbirth scene - Urbino, ca. 1546 - Photo credits: V&A MuseumGreat ceramic artists worked in Urbino in the 16th and 17th centuries: among the Francesco Xanto Avelli and Nicola da Urbino.

Thanks to its undisputed role in influencing culture and art development in Europe and its remarkably preserved Renaissance appearance Urbino is a World Heritage Site.

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