White and Blue
The history of the ceramics of the Province of Savona in the exhibition “White Blue. Five centuries of great ceramics in Liguria”, a special event between everyday life and art at Vado Ligure, Savona, Albisola Superiore and Albissola Marina Thanks to a production which has lasted for five centuries, both Albisola Superiore and Albissola Marina and part of Savona have received the title of town of ancient ceramic tradition. This corner of Liguria is known worldwide thanks to its factories: the majolica wares produced since the sixteenth century evolved till coinciding with the local identity. The two Albisola and the surrounding territory are almost an extended museum, with the “public” example represented by the Walk of the Artists at Albisola Marina, anthology of the 60s, and by the panel sets, coverings and decorations, signed by De Salvo, Sabatelli, Porcù, Salino etc. visible along the town streets. In honour of ceramics, true “vocation” of our land, the Region Liguria and the Province of Savona have organized “White Blue. Five centuries of great ceramics in Liguria”, exposition which unwinds between Vado Ligure, Savona, Albisola Superiore and Albissola Marina (at the Ducal Palace of Genoa, place of presentation, there is the section “Introduction to the White Blue”). The history of the Province of Savona for centuries has alternated between everyday life and art: the exhibition aims at reconstructing the identity through the manufactured articles of its history, from the beginning to the twentieth century. On show in the several branches more than 300 specimens, chosen among public and unknown private collections. Savona Palace of the Superintendent Monumental block of the Priamàr “The great tradition of the Ligurian ceramics. The centuries from the sixteenth to the eighteenth” The blue colour, spread out on the white or bluish background
of majolica, has characterized he Ligurian ceramics since the sixteenth century. The success of the production is due to the great functionality (the cobalt blue, grinded to obtain the blue, stood up well to high temperatures and was cheap) and to the refinement of the oriental-inspired decoration (the Ligurian seamen brought white-blue painted Ottoman ceramic wares and Chinese porcelain wares). Of this period are the ornamental volutes reproducing painted vegetable stylized elements typical of the Roman or Renaissance art and the decorations called “five flowered” of iznik origin. The production of the seventeenth century, intended for the rich aristocracy as documented by the “parade” articles, develops next to that connected to medicine and its remedies. The decorations are the naturalistic calligraphic, those coming from Persian examples and the style named “at spared animals”, with quadrupeds emerging “spared”, i.e. not painted, from the white background. Along with the development of the Genoese pomp the manufactured article comes to be quite painted up by complex mythological, historical or religious scenes. During the eighteenth century, at last, the blue colour and the oriental-inspired styles leave room to those of French origin, similar to “rococo”. Complete the section about ten paintings, of the seventeenth century Genoese school, where ceramic manufactured articles are reproduced. Albisola Superiore Manlio Trucco Museum “Between the nineteenth and twentieth century. Authors and factories” In the house once belonging to the ceramist Manlio Trucco are exposed products which have given new sap to the ceramic market, suffering a crisis since the end of the eighteenth century. The period is characterized by “inexpensive” crockery (the most well-known are the taches noires, the black pottery and the “yellow and black” earthenware) which meets great fortune also with the higher social classes and in different areas of the world, from Southern France to America, in their turn inspiring
the local productions. In the twentieth century majolica becomes trendy again with the products by Piccone, Poggi and the Folco Brothers. In 1903 Bepi Mazzotti founds the house of the same name; in the 20s follow Alba Docilia of Mario Gambetta, the House of Art of Angelo and Giulio Barile and Fenice of Manlio Trucco; almost all the ceramists, good imitators, abide by the style “ancient Savona”. Vado Ligure Villa Groppallo “The experience of the Révol factory” In 1897 the French Gustavo Révol sets up a factory at Vado Ligure, acquired by Richard Ginori in 1901 and closed in 1913, when for the first time the production is shown: crockery, veilleuse, dinner services for the dolls etc., with the typical small flowers gathered in blue festoons and twigs on the background. Albissola Marina Villa Faraggiana “The great artists of the twentieth century” At Villa Faraggiana are on show the manufactured articles made by great international artists, attracted by the Albissola ceramists’ famous technique. The 30s of the second futurism with Marinetti’s charismatic presence are fundamental and so are the 60s, when Albissola – as Crispolti writes in the catalogue – lives a very fruitful period for the Italian and European ceramics of the twentieth century. The traditional blue is chosen by artists such as Lucio Fontana, who in 1954 attends with others to the “Ceramics’ International Meetings” at Albissola Marina, organized by the “Mouvement International pour une Bauhaus Imaginiste” founded by Jorn, which give birth to an exhibition prepared by Tullio Mazzotti of Albissola. Besides the dishes by Fontana we have to mention the horses by Aligi Sassu, the reconsiderations by Antonio Sabatelli, the works by Luigi Broggini and the productions by Emanuele Luzzati, the artist who most has utilized the colour of the ancient tradition.
Italian Magazine about crafts and arts