Renaissance was not just an age of genius painters and sculptors working for the very rich, but a period when art – via designer tableware – found its way into relatively modest houses as well.
Today, souvenir shops in Italy are stacked floor to ceiling with clay pots and plates painted in two or three “typical” designs that anyone who has spent a week there becomes allergic to. I suspect the painting is done by machines, or rather printed to look painted.
Here’s a typical representative:
Renaissance designs were much more varied.
And the blue wild boar is simply irresistible:
IKEA and modern printing technologies have almost exterminated handiwork individuality: even if there’s some hand-painted tableware in the house, it’s not used, but stored. This is sad, for a plate with an individually perfect or flawed drawing can liven up even a most boring dinner. Just imagine a set of plates with the dogs, with which having a tiny individual difference. They could even be given names.
PS The jug and plate come from a museum in Prato, a place few tourists have ever been to, even though it is just 30 km from Florence and Tuscany’s second largest city.
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