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Prestige, piety and moral perfection : Deruta maiolica and the social and cultural value of a decorative.. Clarke, Angela Judy 2006

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PRESTIGE, PIETY A N D M O R A L PERFECTION^.DERUTA M A I O L I C A A N D T H E SOCIAL A N D C U L T U R A L V A L U E OF A D E C O R A T I V E OBJECT  by ANGELA JUDY CLARKE B . A . , University o f Saskatchewan, 1989 M . A . , University o f Saskatchewan, 1995  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF D O C T O R OF PHILOSOPHY in  INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES  T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A October 2006  ©Angela Judy Clarke, 2006  Abstract A study o f four o f images commonly found on Deruta maiolica produced between 1500 and 1550 is used to show how the lives o f Umbrian middle class women were affected by comportment and social interaction, private devotional interests and their relationship with the Catholic Church hierarchy. The conclusions are based on four categories o f images (bella donna plates, four female lay saints, St. Francis receiving the stigmata and St. Francis i n prayer) combined with information from literary, archival and visual sources. W o m e n were given bella donna plates by their husbands. These encouraged the new bride to study exemplary women, such as Isabella d'Este and the Erythrean sibyl i n order to learn how to interact in public. Although the illustrious or exemplary aristocratic women were unknown to middle class women, much o f their behaviour was assumed by looking at their carefully comported images. M i d d l e class women were also provided with comportment manuals to further educate themselves. The ceramic plates featuring the four lay saints show how middle class Umbrian women embraced a specific typology o f saint. The four saints possessed a common story to the degree that they almost seemed interchangeable. This specific typology appealed to Umbrian women because they represented their personal concerns: namely, the conflict between their devotional needs versus the demands o f marriage and children. The two images o f St. Francis in prayer and receiving the stigmata on Deruta plates show how the Franciscan Order had bonded with Umbrian women and relied on them to adopt and disseminate the cult o f its saint and its devotional practices. The authority o f St. Francis and the Franciscan Order spread rapidly throughout Italy during 16 century, because o f the devotional and monetary support o f middle class Umbrian women. W h i l e they had little power o f their own within the Church and social hierarchy o f Italy, they were able to affect the culture o f Italian society through their support o f specific religious orders. Finally, this study examines the history o f maiolica collecting i n order to determine how the placement, time and the gender o f the owner and the observer can alter the significance o f the object throughout history. This concept, known as axiology, is examined i n order to determine how maiolica is valued presently as a museum object and a subject o f scholarly study. th  Table of Contents  Abstract  ii  Table o f Contents  iii  List o f Tables  v  List o f Figures  vi  Introduction  1  C h a p t e r I: A x i o l o g y , P l a c e m e n t a n d the C o l l e c t i o n o f R e n a i s s a n c e D e r u t a M a i o l i c a Collectors  26  C h a p t e r II: D e r u t a Bella Donna Plates: E x e m p l a r i t y a n d U m b r i a n M i d d l e Class W o m e n (1500-1550)  93  C h a p t e r III: F o u r F e m a l e L a y Saints  165  C h a p t e r I V : St. F r a n c i s  210  Conclusion  274  Bibliography  278  A p p e n d i x A , T a b l e I: F i e l d W o r k M e t h o d s M u s e u m Collections Consulted  332  Appendix A , Table la: Field W o r k Methods M u s e u m Collections Erroneously B e l i e v e d to c o n t a i n D e r u t a M a i o l i c a  347  A p p e n d i x A , T a b l e II: Prototypes o n Bella Donna plates A n d Dates o f U s e  350  A p p e n d i x A , T a b l e III: T i m e L i n e o f A u t h o r s  352  A p p e n d i x A , T a b l e I V : T y p o l o g y o f the F o u r L a y Saints C o m p a r e d to St. C l a r e  355  A p p e n d i x A , T a b l e V : T h e H a g i o g r a p h i e s o f St. F r a n c i s  358  A p p e n d i x A , Table V I : The Changing V a l u e o f Deruta Maiolica  360  iv  A p p e n d i x B , Organization o f Charts A p p e n d i x B , Database I: Bella Donna Plates  364 367  A p p e n d i x B , Database II: D e r u t a Plates w i t h the Images o f the F o u r F e m a l e L a y Saints  414  A p p e n d i x B , Database III: D e r u t a Plates w i t h the Images o f St. F r a n c i s Plates  418  A p p e n d i x C , S p e c i f i c L i t e r a r y A s p e c t s o f Bella Donna P l a t e s : N a m e s , Epithets a n d Quotations  429  A p p e n d i x D , Q u o t a t i o n s o n Bella Donna plates: P r o v e r b i a l , S a y i n g s a n d Inscriptions  444  Appendix E , Glossary of M a i o l i c a Terms  466  A p p e n d i x F , A d d i t i o n a l Images  471  A p p e n d i x G : T e x t a n d T r a n s l a t i o n : Al Maestro de Lavorio a Diruta  473  V  List of Tables and Charts T a b l e I: F i e l d W o r k M e t h o d s M u s e u m s : C o l l e c t i o n s C o n s u l t e d  332  Table l a : F i e l d W o r k Methods M u s e u m : Collections Erroneously B e l i e v e d to c o n t a i n D e r u t a M a i o l i c a  347  T a b l e II: P r o t o t y p e s o n Bella Donna plates a n d D a t e s o f U s e  350  T a b l e III: T i m e L i n e o f A u t h o r s  352  T a b l e I V : T y p o l o g y o f the F o u r L a y Saints C o m p a r e d to St. C l a r e  355  T a b l e V : T h e H a g i o g r a p h i e s o f St. F r a n c i s  358  Table V I : T h e Changing Value o f Deruta M a i o l i c a  360  C h a r t I: N a m e s o n Bella Donna Plates  443  C h a r t II: C a t e g o r i e s o f Inscriptions o n Bella Donna Plates  455  vi  List of Figures Chart I: Distribution o f Motifs on Existing Pieces o f Deruta M a i o l i c a Figure 1: Carlo Crivelli, Detail o f The Annunciation with Saint Emidius Figure 2: Vittore Carpaccio, The Birth of the Virgin Figure 3: Cafaggiolo, Maiolica Plate with a Ceramic Painter and his Patrons Figure 4: Deruta, Dish with St. Cecilia  16 37 38 44 51  Figure 5: Deruta, Molded floral plate  52  Figure 6: Deruta, Moulded Armorial Plate  52  Figure 7: Vittore Carpaccio, Life of St. Jerome: Vision of St. Augustine  62  Figure 8: Hertford House, The 16 Century Room, looking north  64  th  Figure 9: Hertford House, The 16 Century Room, looking north close up  64  th  Figure 10: Deruta, Maiolica Piatto owned by William Morris  71  Figure 11: Deruta, Maiolica Piatto owned by William Morris  72  Figure 12: John Everett M i l l a i s , Isabella  75  Figure 13: Deruta, Ricco Deruta  75  Figure 14: Koerner Gallery, Museum ofAnthropology, Vancouver, Canada Figure 15: Pintoricchio, Death of St. Bernardino Figure 16: A close up o f the Bufalini woman from Fig. 15 Figure 17: Deruta, Bella donna Piatto da Pompa depicting the Bufalini Woman Figure 18: Pintoricchio, The Disputation of St. Catherine ofAlexandria  88 103 103 104 107  Figure 19: A close up o f the Lucretia Borgia as St. Catherine  108  Figure 20: Deruta, Bella Donna Piatto da Pompa  108  Figure 21: Bernardino de'Conti, Ritratto di Gentiledonna  113  vii  Figure 22: Deruta, Bella donna plate  114  Figure 23: Perugino, Fresco of the Sibyls  117  Figure 24: A close up o f the Erythrean Sibyl  118  Figure 25: Deruta, Bella Donna Piatto da Pompa based on the Erythrean Sibyl  119  Figure 26: Cipriano Piccolpasso, Ceramicists Painting their Wares  124  Figure 27: Students o f Perugino, Studies of Female Heads  127  Figure 28: L i c i n i o , Rittratto di Donna che Regge I'Effiige del Congiunto  130  Figure 29: Deruta, Large Dish with Border of Floral, Band and Scale Sections  132  Figure 30: Deruta, Large Dish with Border of Floral, Band and Scale Sections  132  Figure 31: Collaborator o f Perugino. St. Catherine ofAlexandria  173  Figure 32: Deruta, St. Barbara.  175  Figure 33: Marcantonio Raimondi, St. Catherine o f Alexandria  176  Figure 34: Deruta, St. Barbara  177  Figure 35: Deruta, St. Lucy.....  177  Figure 36: Deruta, Mother teaching a boy to read  183  Figure 37: Neroccio d i Bartolomea, St. Bernardino of Siena  185  Figure 38: Deruta piatellefti, St. Lucy as a small child. Figure 39: Deruta, St. Clare  187 206  Figure 40: Deruta, Maiolica Plate of St. Francis Praying with a Rosary before a Wine Keg Figure 41: Map of Deruta Figure 42: Giotto, The Legend of St. Francis 16: The Death of the Knight of Celano Figure 43: Deruta, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata  213 216  221 230  viii  Figure 44: Giotto, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata  231  Figure 45: Deruta, Cup with handle featuring St. Francis Praying before a Cross  232  Figure 46: Deruta, Jug Featuring St. Francis Praying Before a Cross  233  Figure 47: Perugino/Italian School, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata  238  Figure 48: Anonymous, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata  240  Figure 49: Giotto, Fresco of St. Francis Vision of the Throne  248  Figure 50: Catacomb o f St. Priscilla, Orant, 3 Century  259  r d  Figure 51: Giotto, Miracle of Spring. No. 14: Legend of St. Francis  260  Figure 52: Cafaggiolo, A Veiled Female Figure engaged in Bodily Prayer  263  Figure 53: Vittore Carpaccio, Dream of St. Ursula  268  Figure 54: Vittore Carpaccio, Annunciation  269  Figure 55: Giotto, Wedding at Cana  471  Figure 56: Giotto, Wedding at Cana. c. 1304-6, close up  472  1  Introduction T h i s thesis w i l l e x a m i n e D e r u t a m a i o l i c a , a variety o f t i n g l a z e d earthenware p r o d u c e d i n central Italy, i n the r e g i o n o f U m b r i a c. 1 5 0 0 - 1 5 5 0 . T h i s pottery w a s f a m o u s f o r its b r i g h t l y c o l o u r e d decoration a n d w a s m o s t noted f o r the f e m a l e figures p a i n t e d onto the c e r a m i c surface. T h i s dissertation w i l l f o c u s o n four categories o f i m a g e s f o u n d o n D e r u t a m a i o l i c a a n d study the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f b o t h the pottery a n d its i c o n o g r a p h y w i t h respect to the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , e c o n o m i c a n d r e l i g i o u s l i v e s o f the I t a l i a n R e n a i s s a n c e m i d d l e class. W h i l e the exact d e f i n i t i o n o f the m i d d l e class cannot b e c l e a r l y articulated b y historians, since it e n c o m p a s s e s a diverse sector o f s o c i e t y i n h a b i t i n g a w i d e v a r i e t y o f o c c u p a t i o n s , e d u c a t i o n a l b a c k g r o u n d s a n d e c o n o m i c resources, f o r the purposes o f this dissertation the m i d d l e class refers p r i m a r i l y to the artisans, shopkeepers a n d traders outside the patriciate, w h o s e w e a l t h , prosperity and a v a i l a b l e i n c o m e increased d u r i n g the 1 5  t h  and 1 6  th  centuries w i t h greater u r b a n i z a t i o n .  T h i s thesis w i l l also e x a m i n e the v a l u e o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a p i e c e s to later c o l l e c t o r s , w h o a c c u m u l a t e d t h e m f o r their private study, r e f l e c t i n g their p e r s o n a l tastes a n d a m b i t i o n s . T h e history o f m a i o l i c a c o l l e c t i n g f r o m 1650 to the present w i l l a l s o b e e x a m i n e d f r o m a n a x i o l o g i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w . T h i s a p p r o a c h w i l l d r a w attention to c u l t u r a l p h e n o m e n a w h i c h contributed to the p e r c e i v e d v a l u e o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a , f r o m the m o m e n t o f the o b j e c t ' s creation to the present d a y . A s a m o d e o f h i s t o r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n a x i o l o g y demonstrates that the v a l u e and the p e r c e p t i o n o f an object i s n e v e r static but i s subject to c h a n g i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l , s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s , e c o n o m i c a n d p o l i t i c a l factors. E a c h o f these factors c a n affect the v a l u e , f u n c t i o n a n d s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a n object d r a m a t i c a l l y . A s w i l l b e demonstrated, D e r u t a m a i o l i c a ' s v a l u e c h a n g e d o v e r t i m e based o n the gender  2  of its owner and the space in which it was placed. Women at the time of maiolica production were the primary arbiters of its value. In contrast, following the 1550's, male collectors determined the worth of maiolica; it has been only in the last few decades with its re-evaluation by feminist scholars that its value has been determined by women once again. Although this thesis examines the history of maiolica collecting, its primary focus will be on the context, significance and meaning of maiolica at the time at which it was first produced. Renaissance middle class families paid considerable attention to the comportment and household obligations of women. This preoccupation is reflected in the genre of comportment manuals and dialogues dealing with the models of ideal behaviour and conduct of their wives and daughters. Cherubino of Siena, Leon Battiste Alberti, 1  2  Jacobus da Voragine, Giovanni Boccaccio, Giuseppe Bettussi and Baldesar Castiglione 3  4  5  were the most popular writers of this genre. They debated the role of middle class women in marriage. This tradition offered specific advice to husbands and their families on these issues, providing rules for expected behaviour of their wives, employing a group of legendary, mythological, courtly and religious women as exemplars. Although this tradition of defining feminine exemplarity was generally read by men, certain works within this tradition were given to wives and daughters for study. Chief among these texts was De Voragine's Legenda Aurea. While the primary instruction for new wives was Cherubino da Siena, Regole della Vita Matrimoniale di Frate Cherubino da Siena, ed. F. Zambrini and C. Negroni (Bologna: Commissione per I Tessi di Lingua, 1969). L. B. Alberti, I Primi Tre Libri della Famiglia, ed. F. C. Pellegrini (Firenze: Sansoni, 1946). Jacobus de Veragine, Legenda Aurea: Vulgo Historia Lombardica Dicta, ed. Th. Graesse (Osnabriick: O. Zeller, 1969). G. Boccaccio, Famous Women, ed. and trans. V. Brown (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001). S. Kolsky, "Donne Gonzaghesche nella Additione al Libro delle Donne Illustri di Giuseppe Bettussi (1545)" in Civilita Mantova 33 (1998), 78-79; B. Castiglione, // Libro dei Cortegiano, ed. G. Preti (Torino: Giulio Einaurdi Editore, 1960). 1  2  3  4  5  3  p r o v i d e d b y h u s b a n d s , w o m e n c o u l d also learn for themselves h o w they c o u l d be better w i v e s a n d mothers f r o m these w r i t t e n texts. S o c i a l a n d l e g a l restrictions l i m i t e d R e n a i s s a n c e m i d d l e class w o m e n f r o m interacting s o c i a l l y , e s p e c i a l l y i n e n v i r o n m e n t s outside o f the h o u s e h o l d . N o r d i d the i n c r e a s i n g e c o n o m i c affluence o f u r b a n f a m i l i e s entail greater m o b i l i t y o r s o c i a l f r e e d o m f o r w o m e n . T h e r a t i f i c a t i o n o f sumptuary l a w s restricted the c l o t h i n g , j e w e l r y , c o l o u r s a n d f a b r i c s m i d d l e class w o m e n w e r e p e r m i t t e d to wear. A d d i t i o n a l l y , p h y s i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s w e r e p l a c e d o n their m o v e m e n t s b e y o n d the h o u s e h o l d . F o r e x a m p l e , w o m e n c o u l d not leave the h o u s e h o l d except for s p e c i f i c reasons, s u c h as g o i n g to c h u r c h or the market. O n l y i n the c o n f i n e s o f the h o u s e h o l d c o u l d w o m e n enjoy a n y degree o f l i b e r t y .  6  T h e artisans o f D e r u t a r e c o g n i z e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f this literary t r a d i t i o n , as w e l l a s c o n t e m p o r a r y l e g i s l a t i o n a n d s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the b e h a v i o u r o f w o m e n . H e n c e , they crafted c e r a m i c s for the use o f h u s b a n d s a n d f a m i l i e s to instruct a n d orient w i v e s w i t h respect to proper deportment a n d p u b l i c b e h a v i o u r . A s w i l l b e d i s c u s s e d m o r e f u l l y later i n chapter t w o , the artisans d e p i c t e d the e x e m p l a r y w o m e n d e s c r i b e d i n these literary texts o n bella donna plates, a c e r a m i c genre g i v e n to y o u n g brides at the t i m e o f their m a r r i a g e [Figures 17, 2 0 , 2 2 , 2 5 , 2 9 , 3 0 ; p p . 104, 108, 114, 119, 132]. H u s b a n d s h o p e d that their w i v e s , b y g a z i n g at the i m a g e s d e p i c t e d o n these plates, m i g h t l e a r n the gestures a n d e v e n r e c a l l the m a n y l a u d e d virtues o f the figure portrayed.  Cherubino da Siena, op. cit., p. 30. "Cost ancora tu,figliuolamia dilettissima, governa bene tutte le cose di casa ..." (My esteemed little daughter, rule well all the things of the house). G. Lanteri, Delia Economica Tratto di Giacomo Lanteri (In Ventia: Appresso Vincenzo Balgris, 1560), pp. 38-38. " parte della casapiu segreta alle donne doveresi dar cosi ancora dico ... nelle istes se loro earnere doveresi porre le cose di maggior valuta, cioegli argenti, le tapezzare deprezzo ... et altre simil cose ..." (The most secret part of the house ought to be assigned to women ... in their room they ought to take care of things of great value, that is, the silver, the precious tapestries ... and other such things ...). 6  4  D e r u t a artisans also p r o d u c e d plates w i t h the i m a g e s o f f o u r f e m a l e l a y saints r e f l e c t i n g the s p i r i t u a l a n d d e v o t i o n a l interests o f w o m e n . T h e saintly f i g u r e s d e p i c t e d o n these plates w e r e b a s e d o n a s p e c i f i c h a g i o g r a p h i c t y p o l o g y . T h e h a g i o g r a p h i e s o f these f e m a l e Saints - St. B a r b a r a , St. C a t h e r i n e o f A l e x a n d r i a , St. C e c i l i a a n d St. L u c y - w e r e i m p o r t a n t to l a y w o m e n because they demonstrated h o w a w i f e m i g h t r e m a i n m o r a l l y i m p e c c a b l e , w h i l e c o p i n g w i t h a s i n f u l spouse. N a m e l y , these saintly figures demonstrated that i n order for the w i f e to encourage v i r t u o u s b e h a v i o u r i n her h u s b a n d she h a d to set a n e x a m p l e for h i m t h r o u g h her o w n irreproachable c o n d u c t . M a r r i a g e , as C h e r u b i n o o f S i e n a stated, d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y h a v e to be i n c o n f l i c t w i t h s p i r i t u a l g o a l s a n d it w a s a w i f e ' s r e l i g i o u s duty to h e l p her h u s b a n d w o r k t o w a r d s p i r i t u a l p e r f e c t i o n . F i n a l l y , the D e r u t a artisans p r o d u c e d plates w i t h images o f St. F r a n c i s i n p r a y e r a n d w i t h the stigmata. T h e s e p i e c e s w e r e p l a c e d i n the w o m a n ' s b e d r o o m or i n d e v o t i o n a l areas, s u c h as h o u s e h o l d private c h a p e l s . T h e p r o d u c t i o n o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a pottery w i t h i m a g e s o f St. F r a n c i s w a s the result o f three needs. F i r s t , the i n c r e a s e d a f f l u e n c e o f m i d d l e class f a m i l i e s e n a b l e d t h e m to b u i l d private chapels i n their h o u s e h o l d s . T h e c e r a m i c p i e c e s w i t h the i m a g e s o f St. F r a n c i s w e r e p r o d u c e d not o n l y as s o u v e n i r s but they a l s o f u l f i l l e d the need to e q u i p these chapels w i t h l i t u r g i c a l apparati. S e c o n d , i n c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h the D o m i n i c a n s , the F r a n c i s c a n O r d e r d e s i r e d to e x t e n d their i n f l u e n c e i n l a y houses a m o n g the m i d d l e class. T h i s type o f D e r u t a pottery, m e e t i n g the F r a n c i s c a n n e e d to p r o m o t e their O r d e r , facilitated this d e v e l o p m e n t . T h i r d , the i m a g e r y o f St. F r a n c i s i n prayer p r o m o t e d recent F r a n c i s c a n prayer r e f o r m s w h i c h they d e s i r e d the laity to adopt. T h i s w a s a c h i e v e d b y creating a n i m a g e o f St. F r a n c i s o n D e r u t a pottery to  5  b e s o l d to the l a i t y w h i c h demonstrated the p r o p e r stance a n d gesture the F r i a r s d e s i r e d their supporters to emulate w h e n they w e r e c o n d u c t i n g private prayer. In order to investigate p r o p e r l y the c o m p l e x context a n d associations o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a it i s essential to take a n i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p r o a c h . A n i n c l u s i v e study o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a requires the perspective and integrated a p p l i c a t i o n o f a n u m b e r o f a c a d e m i c d i s c i p l i n e s : A r t H i s t o r y , A r c h a e o l o g y , E c o n o m i c , P o l i t i c a l arid S o c i a l H i s t o r y , Italian L i t e r a t u r e , M a t e r i a l C u l t u r e and M u s e u m S t u d i e s , R e l i g i o u s Studies a n d W o m e n ' s Studies. It is o n l y t h r o u g h a c o m b i n e d interrelated a p p r o a c h u t i l i z i n g the s c h o l a r s h i p o f these v a r i e d f i e l d s that a c o m p l e t e p e r s p e c t i v e o n D e r u t a m a i o l i c a ' s f u n c t i o n a n d meaning can be gained.  T h e I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y N a t u r e o f this S t u d y T h e n e e d f o r this i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p r o a c h w a s first p r o m o t e d b y the M a y o r o f D e r u t a , U m b e r t o P a g l i a c c i i n 1 9 8 0 , w h e n he r e v e a l e d plans to erect a m u s e u m d e v o t e d entirely to the c o l l e c t i o n a n d study o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a . A m u s e u m w i t h s u c h a m a n d a t e , 7  he asserted, w o u l d be a n important catalyst f o r i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y s c h o l a r s h i p , attracting a c a d e m i c s w h o s e research p r o v i d e d u n i q u e perspectives and interpretations o f this c e r a m i c genre. W i t h the c o m p l e t i o n o f the M u s e o R e g i o n a l e d e l l a C e r a m i c a d i D e r u t a i n  U. Pagliacci, "Introduction," Antiche Maioliche a Deruta, ed. G. Guaitini (Spoleto: Nuova Guaraldi, 1980), p. 10. "Certo, si tratta di un obiettivo ambizioso: bastipensare, ad esempio, a aid che comporta, in questo settore, la strumentazione e I'awio di un vasto programma di ricerche multidisciplinari, o la organizzazione di una sistematica schedatura e riproduzione dei materiale umbri disseminati in musei e collezioni situate in ogni parte del mondo, o la stessa costruzione di un patrimonio di oggetti e di documenti sufficientemente rappresentativo per consentire il funzionamento diun centro museale di questo tipo. " (Certainly, we are talking about an ambitious objective. It is enough to think, for example, about what the organization of a vast program of multidisciplinary research would entail. This would include the organization of a cataloguing system, the reproduction of all Umbrian research scattered in museums and collections throughout the worid. What would also be included would be the building up of a sufficiently representative heritage collection of objects and documents which would allow for a central museum of this kind). 7  6  1998, a unique interdisciplinary discourse has been established on the subject of Deruta maiolica with fruitful results. Between 1980 and 2004 the Museum has produced a series of publications focusing on Deruta maiolica production. However, these studies have not placed these objects within their whole context. Nor has enough attention been given to the relevance of Deruta maiolica, in particular, to the lives of Renaissance women. Because Deruta maiolica was produced for middle class consumers using unsophisticated and frequently repeated imagery, it has often been overlooked as an object worthy of study. Yet, since these ceramic objects were so intrinsic to middle class life, and in particular, to the lives of women, and were placed specifically in their daily sphere of activity [Figures 1, 2; pp. 37, 38], they can contribute much to our understanding of women's lives of the period. The disciplines of Art History, Archaeology, Economic, Political and Social History, Italian Literature Studies, Material Culture and Museum Studies, Religious Studies and Women's Studies are all critical to understanding the role and importance of Deruta maiolica and its contexts. The analysis of Deruta maiolica requires an interrelation of many disciplines, because these objects can be understood only through an integration of approaches and methods to produce new knowledge about the Renaissance and the position of women. The discipline of Art History is of fundamental importance to the study of Deruta maiolica. Studies on Renaissance art, with particular reference to domestic genres, such  O  Q  as the work of Michael Baxandall, Rosemary San Juan, Marta Ajmar and Peter  M. Baxandall, Painting and Experience in 15' Century Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973). R. San Juan, "Mythology, Women and Renaissance Private Life: The Myth of Eurydice in Italian Furniture Painting," Art History 15 (June, 1992), 127-145.  9  7  Thorton  h e l p to c o n c e i v e o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a as a h o u s e h o l d decorative p i e c e . A r t  h i s t o r i c a l m e t h o d o l o g i e s - i n particular, the a n a l y s i s o f i m a g e r y - e x p l a i n the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f v i s u a l c o n v e n t i o n s e n c o d e d i n the i m a g e r y o f these plates. A s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n greater d e p t h later i n chapter t w o , the w o r k o f E l i z a b e t h C r o p p e r , Mary Rogers  1 3  Patricia Simons, and  i s e s p e c i a l l y important to this thesis. T h e s e scholars w e r e the first to d r a w  attention to the f u n d a m e n t a l d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s b e t w e e n R e n a i s s a n c e portraits d e p i c t i n g m a l e a n d f e m a l e f i g u r e s , r e f l e c t i n g the different s o c i a l roles o f m e n a n d w o m e n i n R e n a i s s a n c e Italy. T h e i r e x a m i n a t i o n o f f e m a l e court portraiture suggests that its c o n v e n t i o n s represented the standards o f f e m i n i n e b e h a v i o u r c o n s i d e r e d necessary i n a l l l e v e l s o f Italian s o c i e t y . T h i s thesis w i l l argue that the D e r u t a artisans b o r r o w e d v i s u a l c o n v e n t i o n s f r o m f e m a l e court portraiture. T h e artisans d i d this because they r e c o g n i z e d that aristocratic w o m e n were c o n s i d e r e d m o d e l s f o r R e n a i s s a n c e m i d d l e class w o m e n . M i d d l e class w o m e n w e r e expected to deport t h e m s e l v e s i n the same chaste a n d m o d e s t m a n n e r as their n o b l e counterparts. T h e y learned s u c h b e h a v i o u r f r o m the v i s u a l conventions encoded i n Deruta maiolica.  M . Ajmar and D. Thornton, "When is a Portrait not a Portrait: Belle Donne and the Praise of Local Beauties," Image and the Individual: Portrait in the Renaissance, eds. N. Mann and L. Syson (London: British Museum Press, 1998), pp. 138-149. E. Cropper, "Introduction," Concepts of Beauty in Renaissance Art, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis (Hants: Ashgate Books, 1998), pp. 1-11; Cropper, "The Beauty of Women: Problems in the Rhetoric of Renaissance Portraiture," Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses ofSexual Difference in Early Modern Europe, ed. M . Ferguson, M. Quilligan and N. Vikers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 175-190; E. Cropper, "On Beautiful Women, Parmigiano, Petrarchismo and the Vernacular Style," The Art Bulletin, 58 (1976), 374-395; E. Cropper, "The Place of Beauty in the High Renaissance," Place and Displacement in the Renaissance, ed. A. Vos (Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1995), pp. 159-205. P. Simons, "Portrait, Portrayal and Idealization: Ambiguous Individualism in Representations of Renaissance Women," Language and Images of Renaissance Italy, ed. A. Brown (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 263-312; P. Simons, "Women in Frames: The Gaze, the Eye and the Profile in Renaissance Portraiture," The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History ed. N. Broude and M. Garrard (New York: Icon Editions, 1992), pp. 39-57. M. Rogers, "The Decorum of Women's Beauty: Trissino, Firenzuola, Luigini and the Representation of Women in Sixteenth-Century Painting," Renaissance Studies 2 (1988), 47-69; M. Rogers, "Sonnets on Female Portraits from Renaissance North Italy," Word and Image 12 (1986), 291-305. 10  11  12  13  8  I r o n i c a l l y , since the artisans b o r r o w e d these c o n v e n t i o n s from the genre o f h i g h art, s c h o l a r s f r o m p r e v i o u s decades h a v e c o n d e m n e d D e r u t a m a i o l i c a as b a n a u s t i c , o r a n i n f e r i o r , " l o w b r o w " genre. A s this study w i l l s h o w , the n o t i o n that D e r u t a m a i o l i c a pottery i s n o t h i n g but a v u l g a r i z a t i o n o f h i g h art i s s i m p l i s t i c and not consistent w i t h current s c h o l a r l y v i e w s . T h e v i s u a l c o n v e n t i o n s o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a , p r e v i o u s l y c o n c e i v e d as b a c k w a r d a n d regressive, are, i n fact, a representation o f particular c o n s e r v a t i v e trends f a v o u r e d b y the m i d d l e class, representing standards o f b e h a v i o u r f o r w o m e n . A r c h a e o l o g i c a l studies are also important. T h e w o r k o f G i u s e p p i P a l u m b o , G i u l i o Busti and Franco C o c c h i  1 5  and D a v i d W h i t e h o u s e  1 6  1 4  are important f o r the  d i s c u s s i o n o f p r o t o - m a i o l i c a (c. 1 2 5 0 - 1 4 9 0 ) a n d the early relationship b e t w e e n the D e r u t a artisans a n d the F r a n c i s c a n m o n a s t e r y at A s s i s i . W i t h o u t this w o r k , it w o u l d b e v e r y d i f f i c u l t to understand the b a c k g r o u n d a n d o r i g i n s o f m a i o l i c a pottery o f the " g o l d e n a g e " (c. 1 5 0 0 - 1 5 5 0 ) as w e l l as the l o n g t e r m a s s o c i a t i o n b e t w e e n the artisans a n d the F r i a r s o f St. F r a n c i s . T h r o u g h their a r c h a e o l o g i c a l f i e l d w o r k a n d their a n a l y s i s o f d o c u m e n t s i n the a r c h i v e s i n P e r u g i a , w e learn o f the e v o l u t i o n o f D e r u t a pottery from the p r o t o - m a i o l i c a stage i n the 1 4  t h  century to its c u l m i n a t i o n i n m a i o l i c a pottery o f the 1 6 century, a n d t h  h o w the needs o f the monastery w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s u c h changes. T h i s w i l l b e d i s c u s s e d i n greater depth w i t h reference to the d e v e l o p m e n t o f i m a g e s o f St. F r a n c i s o n D e r u t a m a i o l i c a i n chapter four.  G. Palumbo, "Vasi Medievali Ad Assisi," Faenza 57 (1971), 82-83; G. Palumbo "Un Nuovo Gruppo di Ceramiche Medievali Assisiane," Atti IV: Convegno Internazionale della Cerarnica (May-June 1971), pp. 332-365. G. Busti and F. Cocchi, "Prime Considerazioni su Alcuni Fragmmenti da Scavo in Deruta," Faenza 73 (1987), 14-25. D. Whitehouse, "The Origins of Italian Maiolica," Archaeology 31 (1978), 42-49. 14  15  16  9  Research on Italian, Patristic and Classical literature is no less essential to the study of Italian maiolica. Without reference to the complex Italian literary tradition of feminine exemplarity, dating back to the 13 century, it would be impossible to th  understand properly the moral background underlying the visual conventions found on Deruta maiolica pottery. This literary tradition reflects the serious and near obsessive interest by writers, philosophers and theologians (Boccaccio, Bettussi, da Voragine, Petrarch, Cherubino of Siena and Alberti) regarding the issue of women and their role and deportment in the family and society. In order to understand Deruta pottery it is necessary to consider this tradition and the ideals it promoted. However, the study of Deruta maiolica is also grounded upon the literature of Christian Humanism. Ancient texts such as the Bible and the Classics, influenced Renaissance notions of women inasmuch as the virtuous female figures portrayed in these texts were upheld as worthy of emulation. Thus, it is necessary to look at the writings of early Christian Fathers such as St. Augustine (Epistulae) and St. Jerome (Epistulae), and medieval authors, such as St. Bonaventura (Legenda Maiof) and Nicholas of Cusa (De Visione Dei). It is only through an examination of diverse literary sources that we can properly comprehend the background and meaning of Deruta maiolica in women's lives. The work of the economic historian Richard Goldthwaite is most instructive in terms of understanding the rise of the urban Renaissance middle class and their corresponding ability to afford Deruta maiolica, which was, in fact, a luxury item. Goldthwaite's work is critical to this study as it describes the economic transformation of 15 century Italy and its effect on the Italian middle class. As a result of this th  transformation there was an explosion in the production of high quality Deruta maiolica  10  pottery after 1 5 0 0 , a n d i f it were not f o r the i n c r e a s e d s p e n d i n g p o w e r o f m i d d l e class f a m i l i e s , the D e r u t a artisans w o u l d not have h a d a market for their r e l a t i v e l y e x p e n s i v e pieces. S e c o n d l y , this increase i n m i d d l e class w e a l t h h a d r a m i f i c a t i o n s i n terms o f the d e v o t i o n a l l i f e o f these f a m i l i e s . Increased a f f l u e n c e permitted f a m i l i e s , e n c o u r a g e d b y the F r a n c i s c a n O r d e r , to b u i l d private c h a p e l s w i t h i n their h o u s e h o l d s , r e q u i r i n g the a c q u i s i t i o n o f l i t u r g i c a l apparati ( i n the f o r m o f D e r u t a m a i o l i c a ) to m a k e t h e m f u n c t i o n a l . F r a n c i s c a n friars, w h o were itinerate a n d l i v e d a m o n g the l a i t y , p e r f o r m e d r e l i g i o u s rituals, s u c h as the E u c h a r i s t , i n these h o u s e h o l d c h a p e l s . F a m i l i e s a l s o set u p 17  d e v o t i o n a l altars i n their h o m e s a n d p e r f o r m e d private prayer rituals u n d e r the i n s t r u c t i o n o f the F r a n c i s c a n F r i a r s . T h i s w i l l be e x a m i n e d m o r e f u l l y i n chapter four w i t h reference to the i m a g e o f St. F r a n c i s i n prayer a n d its p r o l i f i c appearance o n D e r u t a m a i o l i c a . T h e perpetual presence o f the F r i a r s i n the h o u s e h o l d ensured the d o m i n a n c e o f this O r d e r i n U m b r i a .  1 8  F i n a l l y , the i n c r e a s e d e c o n o m i c p o w e r o f the m i d d l e class gave to  its m a l e m e m b e r s the opportunity for s o c i a l m o b i l i t y .  1 9  M i d d l e class m e n n o w h a d access  to h i g h e r s o c i a l c i r c l e s v i a w e a l t h . A l t h o u g h they c o u l d never equal the s o c i a l rank o f aristocrats because o f their l o w l y b i r t h , they c o u l d emulate aristocratic p r e t e n s i o n s , s u c h as the pursuit o f H u m a n i s m . T h i s interest i n C l a s s i c a l literature a n d culture h a d a n i m p a c t o n the i m a g e r y a n d i n s c r i p t i o n s c h o s e n for D e r u t a m a i o l i c a , as the artisans attempted to satisfy the desire a m o n g the m i d d l e class to s h o w cultural s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . U p to the early 2 0  t h  century, the R e n a i s s a n c e p e r i o d tended to be seen t h r o u g h the  lens o f p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y , the r u l i n g elites a n d the careers o f important statesmen, p r i n c e s ,  R. Goldthwaite, Wealth and the Demandfor Art in Italy: 1300-1600 (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), pp. 105-107. Ibid., p. 72. Goldthwaite, "The Economic and Social World of Italian Maiolica," Renaissance Quarterly 42 (1989), 17. 17  18  19  11  religious figures and artists. This was the result of the surviving written sources which recorded the lives of those figures whose achievements were considered to shape the history of the Renaissance. The study of Deruta maiolica is an important counterweight inasmuch as it is a testament to the values and aspirations of the often overlooked middle class. Although the Deruta artisans relied on the Italian aristocracy for patronage and protection, this group did not generally purchase Deruta maiolica. The discipline of Religious Studies is also important in terms of understanding the devotional interests of middle class women. In the Renaissance, the division between secular and religious was not as distinct as it is today. Religion and devotional practices were an essential part of the lives of Renaissance women. The impact of religion, especially the cult of St. Francis of Assisi and the four female lay saints in Umbria, was immense. The presence of these saintly figures on Deruta maiolica reveals that religious concerns, such as creating a spiritual marriage and fulfilling familial and devotional obligations as discussed above, were paramount in the lives of Renaissance women. As  th well, the depictions of St. Francis and the four female lay saints reflect contemporary 16 century devotional and ritual patterns and preferences. Examination of the writings of medieval theologians such as St. Bonaventura and Nicholas of Cusa allows us to place into context these saintly images found on Deruta maiolica. Even though the urban middle class laity was not concerned with more obscure theological issues such as Christology, they did express an interest in religious subjects, especially the effect that certain saints could have on their personal lives. The main preoccupations among the laity were maintaining a Christian marriage and the saints' performance of miracles on their behalf. Both of these concerns are reflected in Deruta maiolica through the depiction  12  o f the hagiographies o f St. Francis and the four female lay saints. The work o f Giovanni Casagrandi, Chiara Frugoni 20  21  and Daniel Bornstein, is especially insightful with 22  respect to this subject. Next, the discipline o f Material Culture and Museum Studies w i l l be important to this thesis i n order to gain insight into the display and promotion o f maiolica collections in museums and galleries throughout the world. This w i l l include an investigation i n chapter one o f collections o f maiolica throughout the 17 to 19 centuries and the th  th  intellectual, social and psychological motivations which led individuals like Cardinal Mazarin (1601-1661, statesman), W i l l i a m Morris (1834-1896, designer, writer) and Walter Koerner (1898-1955, industrialist, collector) to purchase and collect maiolica. The research conducted by Susan Pearce, who studied the collecting patterns o f men and 23  women, and M a r k G o o d w i n ,  24  who focuses on Henry Cole (1808-1882, director o f the  South Kensington Museum) and the South Kensington Museum, one o f the first maiolica collection on display to the general public, w i l l be o f particular importance to this study. Finally, the discipline o f W o m e n Studies is essential. Since this thesis examines the lives o f Renaissance middle class women and their role i n the domestic environment, the scholarship o f a number o f feminist scholars working i n this area is extremely  C. Casagrande, "Presenza di Chiara in Umbria nei Secolo XIII-XIV: Spunti e Appunti," Collecteana Franciscana 62 (1992), 481-505. C. Frugoni, "Female Mystics, Visions and Iconography," in Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, eds. D. Bornstein and R. Rusconi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 135-153; C. Frugoni, "St. Francis a Saint in Progress," in Saints: Studies in Historiography, ed. S. Sticca (Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996), pp. 161-190. D. Bornstein, "Women and Religion in Late Medieval Italy: History and Historiography," in Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, ed. D. Bornstein and R. Rusconi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 3-8. S. Pearce, Collecting in Contemporary Practice (London: Sage Publications, 1998). E. Goodwin, "Objects, Belief and Power in Mid-Victorian England: The Origins of the Victoria and Albert Museum," in Objects of Knowledge, ed. S. Pearce (London: Athlone Press, 1990), pp. 9-49. 21  2 2  2 3  2 4  13  relevant. Cynthia Lawrence,  Susan Reverby,  Dorothy Helly and Roberta Gilchrist  examine gendered space, gendered archaeology and the collecting patterns of Renaissance women. They argue that the domestic environment was the center of Renaissance women's daily activities and that the decorative objects displayed in these environments both reflected and reinforced the requirements for women as wives and mothers as well as their interests and personal affinities. Using their work as a model in chapter one of this study, I will demonstrate that the placement, imagery and function of Deruta maiolica provide great insight into the lives of middle class women in the Renaissance.  Geographical Limits of this Study This study is limited to the pottery production of Deruta in the central Italian region of Umbria. Although other pottery centres such as Castel Durante, Gubbio, Faenza and Urbino also produced tin-glaze earthenware (maiolica), the nature of the imagery on the ceramic pieces from these pottery studios was quite distinct. These pottery centres generally produced ceramic plates in the istoriato (It. "historical") style; that is, their pottery depicted complex illustrations from Biblical, Classical and vernacular texts. Istoriato pottery was more expensive than Deruta pottery and was generally produced for the aristocracy. The themes which characterized istoriato pieces were rarely produced on Deruta maiolica prior to 1550. The reason for this absence at Deruta may be due to a  C. Lawrence, Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, Connoisseurs (University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997). S. Reverby and D. Helly, Gendered Domains: Rethinking Public and Private in Women's History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992). R. Gilchrist, Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology ofReligious Women (London: Routledge, 1994). 2 5  2 6  2 7  14  general disinterest in istoriato subjects among the middle class. Renaissance middle class families generally were more concerned with issues of deportment, morality and religion as they related to wives and mothers, than with humanistic themes derived from Classical culture. Since this thesis concentrates on Deruta maiolica and its relationship to 28  Umbrian women, an examination of the pottery from other workshops in central and northern Italy is beyond its scope. However, a future study of istoriato Italian maiolica based on an interdisciplinary approach is certainly a desideratum. This thesis is also limited to the discussion of "golden age" Deruta maiolica c. 1500-1550. As will be discussed later, this period of maiolica was later esteemed as representing the zenith of Deruta ceramic production. However, reference will be made to Deruta ceramics made prior to 1500, termed proto-maiolica pottery, and to the changes in imagery occurring on this ceramic following the golden age after 1550.  The Database of Deruta maiolica pieces Given the number of plates unaccounted for in private collections throughout the world, it is impossible to enumerate with complete accuracy the number of surviving Deruta maiolica plates (c. 1500-1550) in existence today. Until a comprehensive and systematic study of maiolica collections, public and private, is completed, the actual number will not be determined with any certainty. However, an examination of plates featured in museum publications, as well as auction house catalogues, such as those from Sotheby's and Christie's, reveals that there are large quantities of Deruta maiolica in  See Appendix D: "Quotations on Bella Donna plates: Proverbial Sayings and Inscriptions." The one humanistic element on Deruta maiolica bella donna plates was the inscriptions. These inscriptions appealed to their husband's desire to display his intellectual sophistication and generally derived from the ancient Classics, the Bible and Petrarchan literature. 2 8  15  existence. Extant plates come from a wide array of collections throughout the world, 29  mostly in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Russia and Canada, but a few pieces are also found in Poland and the Netherlands. So far 1214 pieces (c. 1500-1550) have been accounted for in museum collections and from auction catalogues [See Chart I]. However, 329 pieces of Deruta maiolica have been set apart for study in this thesis because they conform to the four distinct categories of images studied here: 257 bella donna plates, 16 with the image of female lay saints and 56 with St. Francis (St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, St. Francis in prayer).  Sotheby's and Christie's are two of the main auction houses in Europe and America. Although their headquarters are in London, they also have locations in Rome, Florence, New York and Berlin. As my databases will show, maiolica collections arefrequentlysold by these houses. Rarely, however, are entire auctions devoted to Italian maiolica, rather they are sold along with other decorative arts such as porcelain, Delft pottery as well as antique furniture. 2 9  16  Chart I: Distribution o f Motifs on Existing Pieces o f Deruta M a i o l i c a (c. 1500-1550) Total Number o f Pieces: 1214  Cherubs, 11,  Men and Women, 24,  • Bella Donna  • Other Won* in  • Female Saints  • Lay Saints  • Males  • S t Francis  • Mil* Saint!  • Floral  • Drug Jars  • Crests  • Cherubs  • Man and Woman  The Nature o f the Database This database o f Deruta plates is derived primarily from two sources: auction catalogue and museum publications. There are a few additional sources used in this database such as the accession records o f unpublished collections, e.g. those from the Koerner Collection at the Museum o f Anthropology, Vancouver, B . C . Moreover, a few pieces have been found in connoisseur journals on maiolica collections i n English  17  manors, such as the Bowes Museum, Polesden Lacey and the Wernher Collection. 30  31  32  These institutions offer publications with high quality photographs and a description of the house, the collection and the collector itself.  Auction Catalogues Museum collections are not the only source from which the research database has been compiled. Ninety-nine examples of Deruta maiolica have been found in Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonham's and Finarte Milan auction catalogues. These catalogues feature pieces sold at auction between 1963 to the present.  The sale of the Deruta pieces has  taken place in locations throughout North America and Europe: New York, London, Rome and Florence. Well preserved pieces of Deruta maiolica, in particular, are frequently sold by the auction houses of Sotheby's and Christie's. These auctions offer insight into the variety of Deruta maiolica collections owned privately throughout the world. Auction catalogues by their very nature are of limited value for the researcher because they provide little information beyond a cursory description of the object. Each catalogue entry includes a photograph, the estimated date of production, a brief E. Conran, The Bowes Museum (London: Scala Books, 1992). J. V. G. Mallet, "Maiolica at Polesden Lacy: Pts. 1-3," Apollo 92 (Oct., 1970), 260-265; 92 (Nov. 1970), 340-345; 93 (March, 1971), 170-183. T. Wilson, "Italian Maiolica in the Wernher Collection," Apollo 155 (May, 2002), 35-40. 1 have chosen to study auction catalogues between 1963 and 2004 because of availability. While there were important maiolica auctions prior to this period, especially the auctions from the late 19* and early 20* century, many of the pieces sold during these auctions were acquired by museum curators and important collectors, and thus are, in actual fact, already part of the database. After the 1920's the acquisition of maiolica pieces by major museums became much more infrequent. I have chosen the date of 1963 as a beginning point for the study of auction catalogues because the UBC Museum of Anthropology's collection (Vancouver, B. C , Canada) starts at this time. J. Hovarth donated his large collection of auction catalogues to the Museum of Anthropology library. Hovarth's collections encompass the years 1963 to 1996. Since 1997 the auction houses of Christie's, Sotheby's, Finearte Milan and Bonham's have placed their auction catalogues on the internet. This has expedited research greatly. I continue to collect data on the Deruta maiolica pieces sold at recent auction. 3 0 3 1  3 2 33  18  description of the imagery, as well as its colour and condition. The catalogue also gives the name of a previous owner of the object; however, the history of the object before the most recent owner is rarely given. Such limited information serves one purpose: to attract potential buyers, with a focus on the authenticity and perfect or near pristine condition of the piece. Typically, an object's condition determines its monetary value; accordingly, a decorative piece with unusual imagery, but in a fragile state, is rarely sold at auction or displayed in a catalogue. The imagery is mentioned chiefly to appeal to the aesthetic interests of the buyer. Catalogue entries fail to include important information such as the literary origins of a unique inscription or the prototypes for the imagery on these plates. Hence, these auction catalogues are of marginal value with respect to their social, historical and religious significance because an object's marketability is placed above its scholarly questions. However, auction catalogues are excellent for contributing to a database emphasizing iconographic trends.  Exhibit Catalogues Museum collection exhibit catalogues are more valuable for the researcher because, in addition to the date, description and condition of the object, the museum curator often provides further insights into the imagery and iconography of objects, such as social significance and the history of the piece before reaching the museum. Often the curator provides background information on the collectors who donated their pieces to the museum. The curator's insight into the collector's personal interests and values informs the researcher about the criterion the collectors employed when they selected individual pieces. The following chapter will show that collectors often had specific  19  aesthetic, intellectual and social criteria in mind when they acquired objects. These criteria have affected the varieties of pottery found in museum collections and may even have determined which categories of Deruta maiolica survived and which were destroyed or discarded. However, there are limitations to the academic value of museum catalogues as well. Curators, like the collector, can impose their own personal values and tastes when selecting the contents of a catalogue. Decisions made in the process of writing and production of the catalogue affect the usefulness of the catalogue as a research source. The size of the photographs, their colour quality, and even the decision to include certain pieces in the catalogue at all, are examples of some of the decisions a curator must make when producing a publication. It is not possible to know if the catalogue represents the entire maiolica collection possessed by the museum or if the pieces featured were selected for their excellent quality, condition and visual interest. Through additional correspondence with the individual curators I have been able to resolve many of these questions.  Comprehensiveness of the Database The database created for this thesis includes the collections of 128 museums and 62 auction catalogues. Collections of maiolica are found throughout continental Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden) and the United Kingdom (Britain, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales), Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia), United States, Canada and Australia. In Antiche maioliche a Deruta (1980), the first formal publication issued by ceramic  20  scholars at Deruta, the ceramic scholar Grazietta Guaitini, compiled a list of 102 Deruta maiolica collections throughout Europe and North America. This compilation was a 34  very useful starting point for this database. However, the database I have compiled has gone beyond Guaitini's list in size, scope and detail. For example, I have noted errors in Guaitini's list; specifically, collections listed as possessing Deruta maiolica that do not. As well, I have indicated when collections have been transferred from one museum to another, and also when a museum's name has changed. As well, Guaitini's list of 102 art institutions does not include many museums in the United Kingdom, such as collections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These collections, which existed prior to Guaitini's publication, may not have been included because they were deemed too small in quantity to be considered significant. In addition, Guaitini does not include the collection at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, B.C., which was formed in 1990, a decade after the list's completion.  Although Guaitini's compilation provides a sizable  list of important collections of Deruta maiolica, he did not provide any precise information on the number of pieces in each collection or the imagery on individual pieces. Furthermore, he did not collect these pieces in a database to be utilized by other scholars of Deruta maiolica. The database I have compiled is the foundation of my research. It is an important source from which to assess and study trends, particularly, among three categories of Deruta maiolica; bella donna plates, plates depicting female lay saints and objects with images of St. Francis.  Guaitini, op. cit., pp. 62-63. C. Mayer, "The Koerner Ceramics Collection at the University of British Columbia," The Potters Art: Contributions to the Study of the Koerner Collection ofEuropean Ceramics, ed. C. Mayer (Vancouver, B.C.: The University of British Columbia, Museum of Anthropology, 1997), pp. 3-14.  3 5  21  Lacunae: the Parameters of the Database The methodology underlying the formation of this database was to gather as many pieces of Deruta maiolica as possible in the hope that, inductively, significant trends would emerge. However, an exhaustive accounting of Deruta pieces in existence is not the primary purpose of this study. Because of the constraints of distance, time and funding, it was impossible to visit all museums listed in Guaitini's appendix and study their collections first hand. As well, not all collections had pieces which fit within the focus of this study. For example, many collections housed pieces which extended beyond the 50 year time frame (c. 1500-1550) of this thesis. However, I was able to study the pieces in many unpublished collections by obtaining valuable information directly from museum curators through e-mail and written correspondence. It was through their generous assistance, as noted in Appendix A , Table I, that I was able to create an extensive and well-rounded database. The database, while not entirely comprehensive, is large and demonstrates emerging trends with reference to the comportment, moral exemplars and devotional practices of middle class Umbrian women. It also reveals that not all images were produced in equal number. For example, the number of bella donna plates far outweighs the numbers of devotional plates (female lay saints and images of St. Francis). Although one might expect maiolica pieces with saintly imagery to be more prominent, this is not the case. The popularity of bella donna plates, as evidenced by their high survival rate, demonstrates the importance of marriage and the mentoring of wives during this period. However, it can also be suggested that of the four categories of maiolica images in our survey (bella donna plates, lay saints, St. Francis receiving the Stigmata and St. Francis  22  in prayer) bella donna plates most appealed to the intellectual and aesthetic tastes of male collectors from 1650 to the present. This will be demonstrated in chapter one "Axiology, Placement and the Collection of Renaissance Deruta Maiolica Collectors." The preference for bella donna plates ensured that this type of maiolica would survive in greater numbers than those depicting female lay saints, which did not suit the aesthetic and intellectual interests of collectors. It would be wrong to conclude that the fewer numbers of saintly images on Deruta maiolica, when compared to bella donna plates, means that they were any less significant to Umbrian families. Rather, the small number of saintly figures on Deruta maiolica may have been due to the competitive market with respect to devotional objects. Whereas bella donna imagery was only represented by the genre of maiolica, devotional imagery was found in a wide variety of media, namely paintings, statues and inexpensive prints which were readily obtained in bookstores. Thus, although the saintly images produced on the pottery were popular figures, and possibly more popular than bella donna plates, the media depicting these saints was also more diverse. Since this thesis studies four categories of images on Deruta maiolica - bella donna, female lay saints, and the figures of St. Francis receiving the Stigmata and in prayer - relating to the social, moral and religious interests of Umbrian families and women between 1500-1550, there are many categories of Deruta maiolica images which are not included in this study. For example, with the exception of images of St. Francis, the images of other male saints found on Deruta maiolica (St. John the Baptist, St. Sebastian, St. Jerome and St. Thomas) are excluded from this study because at this point in my research a specific typology has not emerged. Other male images, such as the  23 Turkish horse riders, will not be studied because they do not appear to have any direct relevance to the lives of Umbrian women. Conversely, deschi da parto (birth plates) represent an important part of women's lives but are omitted from this study. First, they are not discussed here because they have been studied at length by Jacqueline Musacchio.  Second, while deschi da parto provide important insight into women's  lives, there are very few Deruta pieces of this variety featuring the categories of images (i. e. bella donna plates, lay saints etc.) studied in this thesis. While Musacchio's work emphasizes childbirth with relation to Italian Renaissance women, this thesis emphasizes other aspects of their lives, namely models of comportment and devotional rituals. As well, the erotic plates studied by Catherine Hess will not be included in this study.  37  While these plates represent an interesting moral opposition to the themes of feminine chastity and modesty of bella donna plates, such a subject, while relevant to women's lives, is beyond the scope of this thesis.  Fundamental Findings of this Thesis Using these interdisciplinary methods I discovered four major aspects of these plates, which represent my main contribution to the study of Italian maiolica, and of Deruta maiolica in particular. First, these objects were stored in women's bedrooms, where the women were not only responsible for their care and upkeep, but also where they contemplated the objects and their significance to their lives. Lanteri states that it was the role of the wife to  J. M. Musacchio, The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999). C. Hess, "Getting Lucky: Maiolica Ceramics and the Italian Renaissance" in Sex Pots: Eroticism in Ceramics, ed. P. Mathieu (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 2003), pp. 64-79. 3 6  3 7  24  examine the decorative objects in the bedroom and maintain their upkeep. Figures 1 and 2 demonstrate how many decorative objects, such as candlesticks, books, tapestries, glass and maiolica, were housed in the bedroom. Second, each plate had a unique significance to the life of the woman who possessed it. Some plates, like the bella donna plates, [Figures 17,20, 22,25,29, 30; pp. 104, 108, 114, 119,132] were acquired by husbands and given to young brides at the time of marriage to assist in their successful transition from young women to wives. A wife was expected to bring honour to her new family through her chastity, pristine comportment and moderate behaviour. Third, the four female lay saints depicted on Deruta pottery demonstrated that personal spiritual development was important to women [Figures 32, 34, 35; pp. 175, 177]. These four saints fit a specific typology, or theme. A study of the four female lay saints through their hagiographical sources reveals that the theme of marriage and familial obligation preoccupied the Umbrian women who possessed an affinity for this saintly typology. This study examines the anxiety women had regarding marriage, the pressures placed upon them to marry, and how Umbrian women, who unlike the lay saints could not escape marriage, bridged the competing demands for a spiritual life with those of marriage. Fourth, this dissertation demonstrates that the Franciscan Order gained great influence and popularity among Umbrian women by attempting to settle the needs and demands in Umbrian women's lives. In particular, the Franciscans created a set of devotional exercises for women to perform in the privacy of their own homes, specifically in their bedrooms. These exercises, depicted on Deruta maiolica pieces  25  [Figures 45, 46; pp. 232, 233], enabled women to take moments out of their busy day to meditate, pray and work on their spiritual development. In turn, the Franciscan Order gained considerable influence because middle class women in Italy supported the Order. Finally, I would like to emphasize that there are limitations to this study. The Deruta pieces used in the database have survived entirely because collectors chose to save them. It is difficult to know if these pieces are truly representative of what was created by the Deruta potters 500 years ago. What has survived has been dependant entirely on the personal taste of collectors. American and British collectors preferred to collect bella donna plates, whereas French collectors appreciated Saints' plates. As a result, we cannot know with accuracy whether the database is numerically representative of all the bella donna plates, saints' plates, and, in general, all the pottery produced by Deruta artisans. Since it is ultimately the taste of maiolica collectors from the 17 century to the th  present which has determined the variety and scope of the Deruta maiolica pieces in existence today, we must begin this thesis with the history of Deruta maiolica collecting.  26  Chapter I: Axiology, Placement and the Collection of Renaissance Deruta Maiolica  Deruta maiolica ceramics at the time of their production (c. 1500 to 1550) were valued by Renaissance women as a decorative medium which reinforced moral, social and religious values. Featuring the images of exemplary women and saintly figures, these objects were placed in women's bedrooms and devotional areas such as household chapels and were contemplated daily. They were also important to husbands who used these pieces as a means to educate their wives. These ceramic pieces remained in the possession of middle class Italian families, after 1550 ("the Golden Age of Maiolica"), but were assigned less value. These pieces were no longer objects housed in the bedroom to be contemplated, but rather they were used as kitchen utensils for mundane family functions such as cooking and serving. However, following 1650, international collectors began to view these maiolica pieces with new interest after a century of hibernation in private family collections. As a result, maiolica pieces became a valuable commodity in the decorative art market. Although Deruta maiolica was not valued to the same degree as "Old Master" paintings and monumental sculpture, beginning in the 18 century it became a decorative genre th  which attracted the eye of collectors for a number of reasons. Placed in public receiving rooms Deruta maiolica was considered a visible manifestation of the courtly love tradition and represented high quality craftsmanship which was also considered a technological wonder. In the 19 century private collectors with their "Italiophile" th  interests, began to collect Italian maiolica for its perceived association with Old Masters, such as Raphael, as well as with the intent of placing it in their studies to create a  27  Renaissance ambience and recreate an ideal past. Collectors and dealers made frequent buying trips to Italy in search of items from the Renaissance to transform their studies and libraries into sanctuaries of culture and beauty amidst the drab industrial environment which marked 19 and early 20 century England and Europe. In the eyes of Victorian th  th  reformers maiolica, among other beautiful objects, should be collected and displayed in public museums to offer a model for social change. On the other hand, it was also collected by American industrialists as an accessory to Old Masters and monumental art, which created a personal legacy for the owners. As a result of both of these trends maiolica finally came to be housed in public museums where it resides today. Five hundred years of maiolica acquisition and collecting (1500-2005) is a broad scope for one historical study and indeed one chapter. Yet, it is essential to examine this lengthy period of history to determine why Deruta maiolica was collected; by both male and female, as well as middle class and aristocratic collectors. Although this dissertation focuses on a fifty year period of ceramic production at Deruta (1500-1550), an examination of the social, religious, aesthetic and intellectual forces influencing collectors from 1550 to the present is essential. These patterns have shaped the nature of maiolica collections today.  1  The acquisition and collecting of an object is directly related to its perceived value. It is therefore important to demarcate the characteristics which define that value. As argued below two characteristics which reflect an object's value are placement and  Ultimately, the maiolica which survives is a reflection of particular collecting patterns. The maiolica pieces which did not interest collectors over the last 500 years did not survive. Thus, it is important to identify these patterns, since they had an immense impact upon what we can know about Deruta maiolica. This is most suggested by the existence of 257 known bella donna plates, whereas only 16 lay saints and 56 St. Francis plates survive. As the following discussion will demonstrate bella donna plates appealed to later collectors. 1  28  gender: the nature of placement of the object in its environment and the gender of the person who acquires the object. Whether in a middle class Umbrian woman's bedroom, a 17 century or 18 century gentlemen's receiving hall, a 19 century male dilettante's th  th  th  study or even in contemporary public museum displays, maiolica pottery has consistently enjoyed a pride of place for varied reasons. The placement of maiolica in these different spaces raises the issue of the perceived value of a given object within a society over a period of time. The gender of the person possessing the object is of equal importance to determining the valuation of the object. Gender has a direct influence on the placement of the object in a given environment. Therefore, in order to determine an object's value, we must consider both placement of the object and the gender of the owner. Paul Veyne, following Max Weber, refers to such historical investigation as axiology. In his view such research is not centred on the events or facts occurring in a 2  specific historical time frame. Nor does the researcher make value judgments on the aesthetic worth of an object. Rather an axiological historian focuses on one object or one historical phenomenon and assesses its perceived value over time. The historian assumes that the value of an object is never static, but rather subject to changing environmental, social, religious, economic, and political conditions. Each new historical milieu adds a new dimension to the perception of the object and its estimated worth. Additionally, these changes in value can only be measured in comparison to earlier historical periods. In this thesis the perceived value of Deruta maiolica in the first half of the 16 century will be th  compared to that of the 17 through 21 centuries. A n axiological survey will th  th  demonstrate that Deruta maiolica was valued for different reasons at different periods in P. Veyne, Writing History: Essay on Epistemology, trans. M. Moore-Rinvolucri (Middleton: Wesleyan University Press, 1984), p. 66; citing M. Weber, Essais sur la Theorie de la Science, trans. J. Freund (Paris: Plon, 1967), pp. 260-264.  2  29  history. The changing perceptions of the value of Deruta maiolica corresponds to the gender of the purchaser (men or women), the buyer's social class (aristocratic or middle class), the object's social, religious and cultural function (utilitarian, devotional or aesthetic) as well as its placement. The placement and the gender of the buyer are two key aspects in the measurement of value over time. We cannot say that Umbrian Renaissance middle class families "collected" Deruta maiolica in the same sense that aristocrats collected maiolica from the 17 century on. Deruta maiolica was acquired for particular reasons relating to middle class women's lives. However, following the insights of Veyne, Weber and Greenblatt we may argue that the valuation of maiolica was expressed in a similar way by the nature of its placement and display within its surrounding environment. The value of Deruta maiolica in Renaissance middle class households is reflected by its placement in secure and private female quarters and private chapels in the household. Correspondingly, Deruta maiolica valuation is seen in the 17 century, by its placement in the receiving rooms and studies of wealthy aristocratic males. Today, Deruta maiolica's value is expressed by its display in public museums.  Placement and Value Following the Renaissance, the placement of Deruta maiolica changed radically, indicating that the ceramic pieces had been subject to an abrupt shift in perceived value. Whereas Veyne and Weber discuss the impact of social attitudes on the perceived value of an object over time, Michel Foucault describes the variables of time and space and C. Lawrence, "Introduction," in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors and Connoisseurs, ed. C. Lawrence (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), p. 11.  3  30  their potential to transform an object's value. Foucault argued that the placement of an 4  object within domestic and institutional spaces can enhance or diminish an object's value. Foucault suggested that space can also indicate an object's function. The placement of the object whether in a private bedroom, public receiving room or centre for institutional activity determines the significance of the object to the observer. The more formal and prestigious the space, the higher the social significance accorded to the object. For example, spaces set apart for their specialized or ritualistic functions, such as churches, museums, prayer spaces, contain objects of the highest value. Places used for generic tasks such as cleaning and cooking possess objects of the least value. On the other hand, the bedroom is a storehouse for objects of sentimental value. In Foucault's view, the placement of an object in private quarters indicated that it is an object of intimate and personal value. This view is also expressed by Greenblatt, who added that along with placement, the manner of display contributes to the perception of the object and its value. Specifically, the manner and care with which an object is placed, (such as, the quality, expense and stylistic execution of an object's mount and environment) enhances the appearance, importance and value of an object.  5  From an axiological perspective, the economic and cultural value of Deruta maiolica has changed radically over the last five centuries. It is no longer simply an 6  M. Foucault, "Of Other Spaces," Diacritics 31 (Spring, 1986), 22-27. S. Greenblatt, "Resonance and Wonder," in Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics ofMuseum Display (Washington: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1991), pp. 42-56. This article argues that the presentation of an object not only reveals its perceived value, it also succeeds in enhancing (or diminishing) the value in the eyes of viewers. The history of collecting Deruta maiolica demonstrates that its fluctuating social and cultural value is conveyed through its placement and display (i.e. the environment in which an object is displayed). The placement of a maiolica piece, whether in a woman's bedroom, a man's study or a public institution, such as a museum, each imparts unique and important information regarding the social and economic value of the object. I emphasize "changed" here. The value of a bella donna plate to an individual woman in the Renaissance was equal, if not greater, in value to that of a 19 century male aristocratic collector. This study  4  5  6  th  31  object used for private prayer and moral reflection in the intimacy of a woman's private devotional space but now an object featured in major public and cultural institutions. Deruta maiolica is stored and displayed within increasingly elaborate and sophisticated exhibitions and placed in galleries created specifically for the showing of this single ceramic genre. In the Renaissance these pieces were placed in a woman's bedroom 7  perched openly on a credenza or shelf along with a wide array of personal and decorative articles. Currently, maiolica collections are housed in museum galleries protected by electronic alarms and enclosed in velvet and glass. Such an environment attests that the perceived monetary value of Deruta maiolica has grown exponentially.  8  However, it is important to remember that economic value is not synonymous with cultural and personal significance. Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the early 20  th  century art critic and historian, lamented that some collectors were only interested in acquiring objects bearing the names of prestigious artists and artisans. These high profile art objects were deemed excellent investments. As a result 19 and early 20 century th  th  collectors failed to appreciate a whole array of objects with immense cultural value because they were produced by nameless artisans of little market value. The artisans of 9  Deruta did not sign their works and for this reason Deruta maiolica was overlooked as an demonstrates the varying valuation of maiolica. Although the economic value of maiolica has increased a thousand fold (maiolica pieces in good condition can sell for $10,000-15,000 today), these objects were priceless to middle class female owners. Cf. B. Berenson's comments later. S. Reverby and D. Helly, Gendered Domains: Rethinking Public and Private in Women's History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), p. 13; Lawrence, op. cit., p. 12. Greenblatt, op. cit., 42-56; J. Mallett, "Michelangelo on Maiolica: An Istoriato Plate at Waddesdon," Apollo 139 (April, 1994), 50-54; Museum collections can further shape the perceived value of maiolica through their displays. Some museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York display maiolica as a Renaissance decorative art of lesser import than other high art pieces from the period. By contrast, other museums, such as the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario and the Koerner Gallery, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, B.C, present maiolica in a gallery of its own, demonstrating that maiolica is a unique and important visual medium, with a unique historic and cultural value. D. Miller, "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," Interpreting Objects and Collections, ed. S. Pearce (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 17; B. Berenson, The Passionate Sightseer: From the Diaries 1947-1956 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1960), p. 162. 8  9  32  object of value by art critics and collectors. As this study will demonstrate, the artisan's identity was not important to Umbrian women and their families rather Deruta maiolica was valued for its social, moral, religious and devotional qualities.  Gender and Value As feminist social historians Helly and Lawrence have argued, the gender of an object's observer affects the evaluation, interpretation and social function of the object. Correspondingly, the observer's gender affects three factors: the perception of the object, its function, and its physical placement. This perspective is further developed by the work of Reverby, Helly, Lawrence and Gilchrist in their research on gendered archaeology  1 0  and gendered space. Helly examines historic spaces and how their decorative elements 11  reinforced the social norms of the people that inhabited them.  Lawrence compares  public and private spaces in order to demonstrate that historically, the public environment was entirely a male space. In contrast, private spaces, such as the household, were designed to contain and protect women and to reinforce socially accepted values of femininity. For example, in many Renaissance Italian towns, statues and monuments were erected in public forums to be viewed by men who engaged in business and trades in the vicinity. These statues and monuments reinforced Renaissance masculine ideals and goals of local pride and familial honour. By contrast, small decorative objects, such as maiolica pieces, inhabited female spaces such as the bedroom and devotional areas. R. Gilchrist, Gender and Material Culture: Archaeology of Religious Women (London: Routledge, 1994); S. Rees Jones, "Women's influence on the Design of Urban Homes," Gendering the Master Narrative: Women and Power in the Middle Ages, ed. M. Erler and M. Kowaleski (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003), pp. 190-211; Reverby and Helly, op. cit., p. 13. Lawrence, op. cit., p. 12; K. Grier, "Introduction: Gendered Spaces and Aesthetics: A Special Issue," Winterthur Portfolio 31 (Winter, 1996), 199-201. The entire volume is devoted to the theme of gendered space. Reverby and Helly, op. cit., p. 13. 10  11  33  Since women were the intended audience for these pieces, it followed that the images depicted on these pieces reflected and reinforced the values particular to women: familial duty, modesty and religious devotion. Gendered archaeology and the architecture of 13  domestic space have heavily influenced discussions about women in Renaissance society. Through the approaches of gendered archaeology and gendered space questions 14  regarding the display of Deruta maiolica and its significance to the lives of middle class Renaissance Italian women can be more fully explored.  Maiolica Ceramics as a Middle Class Collectable Object Goldthwaite has demonstrated that Deruta maiolica was not a decorative object commonly purchased by aristocrats. The only maiolica which appealed to this elite 15  market was the istoriato variety and even this type of maiolica was not highly prized but considered a serviceable ware reserved for casual dining such as lunch or picnics at the country villa. Among aristocratic houses maiolica was not an object of great value, it 16  was more functional and utilitarian than decorative; the omission of any references to  Lawrence, op. cit., p. 12. Reverby and Helly, op. cit., p. 13; Gilchrist, op. cit., p. 150. Although Gilchrist uses the archaeological evidence from convents, she also provides some evidence from domestic spaces. She concludes that the woman's sphere in the household was marginalized by constructing physical barriers with the outside world. She notes that women's rooms were placed deep within the house creating more distance from the male space of the public world. As will be shown later, the Renaissance author, G. Lanteri (fl. 1560), advocated the separation of women in the household for their safety. R. Goldthwaite, "The Economic and Social World of Italian Maiolica," Renaissance Quarterly 42 (Spring, 1989), 14. P. Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior: 1400-1600 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1991), p. 106. Thorton describes how maiolica was used by Isabella d'Este at her villa. Istoriato is a variety of Italian maiolica produced largely in the northern Italian pottery centers of Urbino, Faenza, and Castel Durante. The istoriato (It. "historical") style is characterized by complicated and highly detailed scenes from Classical, Italian literature and the Bible. The artisans utilizing the istoriato method adapted artistic innovations such as architectural drawing, perspective, and rendered figures with highly developed musculature. Deruta did not adopt such methods and preferred to retain two dimensional, figurative representations. In the course of my study I have found only 5 Deruta maiolica plates, out of 1214, made between 1500-1550, which approximate to the istoriato style. 13  14  15  16  34  maiolica in the household inventories of noble families attests to this. A n aristocrat such as the Marchesa of Mantua, Isabella d'Este (1474-1539), purchased istoriato maiolica pieces as part of her table service, but she did not consider them among her prestigious "fine art pieces." Goldthwaite states that most maiolica appealed to the middle class 17  economically and decoratively. He concluded that whereas istoriato artisans had considerable social pretensions and desired to elevate their status by attempting to appeal 18  to the ruling elite,  Deruta artisans catered to the less elite, middle class market. Thus,  they did not adopt the istoriato style with its highly involved perspective techniques, nor did they include complicated architectural backdrops and multiple images, which increased costs. While plates depicting St. Francis receiving the stigmata, and the bella 19  donna plates, were ornate and vivid, these plates were purchased as commemorative pieces marking important life events such as marriage or the completion of a pilgrimage. Other Deruta pieces, such as the four female lay saints and images of St. Francis in Prayer, were more austere in decoration, reflection of their daily devotional function.  C. M. Brown, ed., Isabella d'Este and Lorenzo da Pavia: Documents for the History ofArt and Culture in Renaissance Mantua (Geneve: Librairie Droz S.A., 1982), pp. 219-222. Priority is given to accounts where Isabella received gifts of porcelain and vases of stone, such as agate, carnelian, crystal. These materials were considered more rare and precious than maiolica. There appears to be no mention of maiolica in the inventory of Isabella d'Este. Hence, maiolica does not have seemed to be important enough for her to mention in her letters. Despite this paucity of references to maiolica in d'Este's correspondence, it is known that she collected maiolica pieces. There is a piecefromIsabella d'Este's ceramic service in the Fitzwilliam Museum: J. E. Poole, Italian Maiolica and Incised Slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) cat. no. EC.30-1938. This piece was made by a maiolica artisan from Urbino, Nicola di Gabriele c. 1524. The ceramic piece depicts the Greek myth of Peleus and Thetis: J.V.G. Mallet, "Mantua and Urbino: Gonzaga Patronage of Maiolica," Apollo, 114 (Sept., 1981), 162-166; J. M. Musacchio, Marvels ofMaiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery ofArt Collection (Charlestown: Bunker Hill Publishing Inc. 2004), pp. 31-32. 17  R. Goldthwaite, op. cit., (1989) 14. The exception to this rule was the souvenir pieces of St. Francis receiving the stigmata. These pieces were bought by pilgrims traveling to Assisi. 18  1 9  35  Placement and Value of Deruta Maiolica (c.1500 to 1550) According to Greenblatt, two factors convey the social value an owner accorded to an object: first, the space in which an object is placed, such as a sacred or institutional space versus a mundane domestic space, and second, the quality of an object's presentation within that space. The larger and more formal the decorative mount the 20  greater the prestige attached to the object. Between 1500 and 1550 Deruta maiolica was placed in women's bedrooms and devotional spaces (e.g. private chapels); places where *  21  women and children were regular inhabitants and would view these objects daily. According to Giacomo Lanteri (1560) in his Della Economica (Lat. "Concerning the Economy," 1560), the female bedroom, in middle and upper class Renaissance homes was the location where the prized decorative objects were placed along side metal platters, plates and accoutrements. From contemporary paintings of Renaissance 22  women's bedrooms, it is clear that the credenza (or display shelf) could take two forms: a sideboard attached to the wall or just a long shelf above the bed.  A credenza can be  seen in the painting by Carlo Crivelli (active 1457-1493) the Visitation of St. Emidius c. 1486 [Figure 1]. The credenza enabled piatto da pompa (i.e. maiolica) to be gazed at and appreciated on a regular basis, but it also set it apart from functional areas of the room Greenblatt, op. cit., p. 51. Thornton, op. cit., p. 168. G. Lanteri (Venice: 1560) Della Economica Tratto di Giacomo Lanteri Gentilhuomo (In Venetia: Appresso Vincenzo Balgris, 1560), p. 37: "Si come adunque dicemmo nel ragionamento di hieri, la parte della casa piu segreta alle donne doversi dar cosi ancora dico (pero che tocca loro la maggior cura intorno all 'addobbameto) nelle istesse loro earnere doversi porre le cose di maggior valut, cioe gli argenti, le tapezzarie diprezzo, che di continuo non si adoprano, le biancherie, e altre simili cose..." (Thus, as we said in our discourse yesterday, the woman's part of the house is most secret, that part of the house [nevertheless, it is their responsibility to take the most care as far as the decorating goes]. In this their rooms they ought to place the objects of the greatest value, that is: the silver, the expensive tapestries that are not used at all times, the linens and similar things). C. Hess, Italian Ceramics: Catalogue of the J. Paul Gettty Museum Collection (Los Angeles, California: J. Paul Getty Publications, 2002), p. 45. The catalogue shows a Carlo Crivelli (1430/35-1495) painting. It demonstrates how decorative goods as well as expensive objects of utility were stored in a woman's bedroom. The details in the painting illustrate Lanteri's description. 2 1  2 2  2 3  36  ensuring that the object's pristine condition was preserved. The reason why the ceramic 24  objects were placed in prominent positions on women's quarters is explained in the writings of Giovanni Pontano (1446-1503) in / Trattati delle Virtu Sociali (It. "Treatise of Social Virtue") and Lanteri Delia Economica. As well, from Lanteri we learn that household valuables were placed in the women's rooms. Lanteri offers two reasons for this. First, insisting that the protection of the decorative objects was part of their wifely duty, he encouraged women to be *  •  9S  responsible for household decoration.  •  •  Second, according to Lanteri, the female  chambers were in the most removed and inaccessible areas in the house, hence the bedroom protected both the wife and the household valuables from violation. The 26  See Appendix B, Database III: Deruta Plates with the Images of St. Francis Plates. Piatti da Pompe (It. "Ceremonial plates") tend to be better preserved than other shapes of Deruta maiolica. This is especially apparent in the case of the Deruta pieces bearing images of St. Francis. The piatti da pompe with images of St. Francis receiving the stigmata are generally in good condition. However, the other pieces with St. Francis praying before a cross tend to be in a more fragile state. In order to emphasize this difference I have, where possible, provided the condition of these objects in the database. Pontano notes this distinction in the use of objects. G. Pontano, I Trattato delle Virtu Sociale (Roma: Edizioni dell'Anteneo, 1965), p. 272. "La vista loro e piacevole e procura prestigio al padrone di casa, purche a frequenatare la casa e ad ammirare siano molti. Ma gli oggetti ornamentali, come si richiede che siano magnifici e vari il piii possibile, cosi bisogna collocar i a loroposto: c'e un oggetto che e adatto al salone, un altri alia camera da letto. Inoltro alcuni sono destinati ad un ornamento quotidiano, altri conservati per I giorni festivali e per le solemnita. " (Seeing them is pleasant and provides prestige to the master of the house; on the condition that during the visit to the house [visitors] admire the many decorative objects. The decorative objects should be as magnificent and as diverse as possible, it is also necessary to locate them each in its own place. There is one object that is perfect for the salon and another in the bedroom. Others still are destined to be used as every day decorative objects, and others saved for festival days or for [religious] observances). 2 4  Lanteri, op. cit., pp. 166-167. "Io per prima andai inuestigando alia giornata se cosa alcuna all 'ornamento della casa mancauna ... Ma la prima, e piii importante provisione ch 'io feci,fit,I 'ornamento delle stanze, cioe delle tapezzarie che mancauano, overo che per non essere cosi a proposita voleano essere mutate. " (I, at the start of the day, investigate all the decoration of the rooms [to see] if anything is missing ... But thefirstand most important provision that I made was that the ornament of the house, such as the tapestries, are not missing or rather are suitable or needed to be replaced). Ibid., p. 17. "Facendo sopra tutto, che le donne da tutta I'altra famiglia stiano separate; lequali lung dalle dalla entrata habbiano alberghi a bastanza, con lacorte (se si pud) congionta al giardino, eal luoghi de' lavatoi, e delle dispose, 6 saluarobbe; Ai quail luoghi tutti, esse donnepossano andare apiacer loro, senza passare pel rimanente dalla casa, ove possano esser vedute." (Ensuring that above all the women are separated from the rest of the family, the women have chambers far awayfromthe entrance of the house, with the courtyard adjoining the garden and the places of work, as well as the wardrobe and the pantry. In these places women are able to go as they please without passing through the rest of the house where they can be seen). 2 5  2 6  37  Annuciation with St. Emidius painted by the Venetian artist Carlo Crivelli (painted c. 1486), demonstrates the array of objects (Hispano-Moresque jars, bowls, books and glass) stored in a wife's bedroom.  1. Carlo Crivelli, Detail of The Annunciation with Saint Emidius, 1486. National Gallery of Art, London, England. (Ng 739) (This photo appears with kind permission from the National Gallery of Art, London). A woman praying in her bedroom. The household decorative objects are stored on a shelf above the bed. The painting features a house in Ascoli, a town 105 km. from Deruta.  The jar, on the shelf, second from the left appears to be an albarello {It. "drug jar"). This is a HispanoMoresque piece and is evidence that by 1486 this type of pottery appears in Italian homes. 2 7  38  M a n y o f these objects were displayed on a shelf above the bed for safekeeping. A s can be seen from Vittore Carpaccio's (1455-1525) painting The Birth of the Virgin (c. 1502), maiolica plates were placed on a ledge above eye level in the annex to the bedroom ensuring that they would be viewed while sitting in and exiting the bedroom  28  2. Vittore Carpaccio, The Birth of the Virgin, c. 1502. Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy. Dip. 731 (This photo is reproduced with the kind permission of the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo Italy). Maiolica plates are placed on a ledge off in the distance. Personal maiolica items are also placed by the bedside.  The date of this painting is 1502. The placement of plates on the shelf is a visual confirmation of maiolica in Italian households. 2 8  39  Hence, from this textual and visual evidence we may conclude that the decorative objects, including maiolica, were placed in a woman's bedroom and entrance rooms. It was from this vantage point that the wife contemplated them. Lanteri states women gazed daily at these decorative objects in their bedrooms for a number of reasons. First, women were encouraged to keep a vigilant eye on the adornments in their rooms to mark their condition and note if these objects were in need of repair. Second, the lady of the house was required to survey her room and consider if the decorative objects were in their appropriate places and ensure none were missing. Hence, wives were encouraged to examine their bedrooms and decorative objects closely and frequently. Lanteri exhorted that such visual surveys were not just for pleasure, but were part of her daily conjugal responsibilities.  Thus, while she examined the condition  of these decorative pieces their images should register in her thoughts. This placement in the most secure and recessed area of the household indicates how greatly Deruta maiolica was valued by Renaissance families. It was not placed in entrance halls or utilitarian areas such the kitchen. Maiolica's relative pristine condition today is a reflection of this. Other varieties of maiolica were also found in private household chapels, also reflecting its value in terms of the devotional practices of women and their family. In particular, it was the genre of maiolica depicting St. Francis in prayer which was used as a ritual object and was placed in household chapels or devotional spaces. Richard Goldthwaite refers to objects used for devotional rituals as liturgical apparati. As will be demonstrated in Chapter Four, these domestic chapels and devotional spaces gave women the opportunity to develop a spiritual life in the confines  Lanteri, op. cit., p. 166. Ibid., p. 144.  40  of the domestic environment and these liturgical apparati with their images of St. Francis praying gave Umbrian middle class women a model of how to pray according to Franciscan standards.  Gender and Value of Deruta Maiolica: Renaissance Middle Class Husbands The perception and value of maiolica was also affected by gender. Men purchased bella donna plates to honour their brides and as a talisman for a propitious marriage (it also, as we will show later, had an important didactic function). Women acquired maiolica depicting the lay saints and St. Francis in order to decorate their homes and for devotional purposes. Evidence for women purchasing maiolica themselves is scant, however, both Lanteri and a maiolica plate from Cafaggiolo suggest that they had the wherewithall and input in such acquisitions. Deruta maiolica was also valued by Renaissance men. Bella donna plates were purchased by men at the time of marriage and possessed qualities important to them. Deruta maiolica with devotional images was likely purchased by women and was valued for different reasons. We will first examine why Renaissance middle class men purchased and valued bella donna plates. A contemporary poem suggests that bella donna plates were purchased at the time of marriage as a love charm so as to secure a successful union. Andreano da Concole's (fl. 1557) poem, addressed Al Maestro de Lavorio a Diruta (It. "To the Master of Arduous Work at Deruta") suggests that the bella donna plates were purchased by grooms for their prospective brides at the time of marriage.  31  G. Ballardini, "Un Breve Componimento Poetico del Sec. XVI," Faenza 31 (1934) 111. For text and translation, see Appendix G: Text and Translation: Al Maestro de Lavorio a Diruta. We know that this poem refers to bella donna plates because da Concole instructs the potters to inscribe the names of the beloved on this pottery and this is the only ceramic genre produced at Deruta on which a woman's name is 3 1  41  That the poem refers to bella donna plates is clear from the fact that the women's names mentioned in the poem (Lucretia, Faustina, Giulia, Madelina, Pantasilea, etc.) are also found on surviving bella donna plates (1500-1550).  Da Concole describes here how  suitors commissioned these plates to serve as a romantic talisman or love charm with the hope of making their future marriage happy and prosperous. That the grooms and not their brides were responsible for the purchase of bella donna plates as love charms can be deduced from contemporary gender roles. Women were expected to be modest and chaste throughout their entire life. It would be unfitting for a woman to go publically to an artisan and commission a ceramic piece by herself. Not only would it be considered immodest for her to buy a plate with a love charm for a man, it would be inappropriate for her to have her own name inscribed on the plate, as it would be a sign of vanity. The key section of the poem reads: You will work slowly and not frantically and paint at the best phase of the moon So that you will not have even a little bowl left behind. The first couple chosen: Colonna Perugina, soul Baldesca Madonna Francesca of Mr. Favio Now do not regret to write these names more often with the very dear Braccio The [lady] Franceschina the anchor of Bartolaccio Do not hesitate to pledge [swear an oath to the following women]. 33  found. The date of this poem leads to an important question. The end of the golden age of Deruta maiolica was generally been characterized as the first half of the 16 century (c. 1550). The poem was written seven years after the end of the so-called "Golden Age" of maiolica, raising the question whether the time frame for the "golden age" should be reconsidered and extended by ten years c. 1560. These names are found on surviving Deruta bella donna plates (See Appendix C, Specific Literary Aspects of Bella Donna Plates: Names, Epithets and Quotations) confirming that the poem by da Concole is referring to this genre of maiolica. Ballardini, op. cit., p. 111. For text and translation see Appendix G. th  3 2  42  Da Concole advises the potter to infuse the bella donna plates with mystical properties. To do so he instructs the artisan to write the name of the betrothed woman on the plate during the right phase of the moon "pigliace il buon punto de la luna" (paint at the best phase of the moon). The rituals adopted during the production infused the ceramic plate with mystical properties ensuring the object's successful sale "Che non te ha da restare una tazzetta. "(So that you will not have even a little bowl left behind). It also served as 34  a tribute to the young woman who received the plate from her groom. This poem also indicates that it was the groom (such as Messer. Favio and Bartolaccio) who purchased bella donna plates, in order to pay homage to their new brides, commemorate her beauty, pledge his affection and initiate a fortuitous beginning to their marriage. As the poem by Da Concole demonstrates, Italian Renaissance middle 35  class husbands valued decorative pieces as a means to express their desires and ambitions. They also saw them as a symbol of their sophistication and a talisman for future prosperity in marriage. Finally, although it is clear from literary and visual evidence that maiolica was placed in female bedrooms and private chapels, there is no evidence that the four Deruta maiolica genres discussed in this thesis (bella donna plates, the four lay saints and St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata and Praying before a Cross) were placed in male quarters such as studioli. This reinforces the notion that these maiolica pieces were used for women alone. While men were encouraged to possess decorative objects and there were  The reference to a "little bowl" means "So that you will not have even a little bowl left behind." This line addresses the artisan and seller of bella donna plates. The poet exhorts him to undertake important rituals to ensure the sale of the plates. As the discussion of the bella donna plates will show husbands bought these plates to instruct their wives in the proper comportment. This can be deduced from the literary tradition of feminine exemplarity. 3 4  3 5  43  genres of maiolica that were more suited to male tastes such as the Turkish horseriders and plates with erotic themes, thus discussion of these genres is beyond the scope of this thesis.  36  Gender and Value of Deruta Maiolica: Renaissance Middle Class Women The Renaissance writer Gordiano Pontano writes that it was essential for a gentleman to possess beautiful decorative pieces, the greater the array the better. Pontano encouraged even the man of most modest income to acquire at least a few decorative ^7  objects to exhibit his appreciation for beauty among his family and peers.  There is also  literary evidence suggesting that wives did, in fact, acquire decorative pieces: You will be more praiseworthy, if in exchange for overwhelmingly costly adornments, you should prefer to see the house well decorated (as long as you stay within your limits). For the decoration of the house lasts throughout your youth and into your old age also. However, these things you put on within a few months they have become tattered.  38  For a discussion of the limitations and parameters of this thesis see Introduction, p. 21-23. Pontano, op. cit., p. 272. "E da uomo modesto, non splendido, possedere suppellettili e oggetti ornamentali per quel che basti; di solito, anzi, sifanno molte lodi, quando al numero e alia rarita della suppellettile si vede aggiunta la varieta della lavorasione, dell 'arte e della materia in una serie di oggetti dello stesso genere ... Non si richiede, infatti, soltantoche risplendano sull'abaco moltissime tazze, ma che siano varie, che ce ne siano d'oro, d'argento o di porcellana, che alio stesso modo sia sempre diversa la forma: a calice, a cratere, a forma di brocca, di piatto, con manichi lunghi, o corti. Di queste alcune devono sembrare acquistate per I'uso e per ornamento. Altre solo per ornamento ed eleganza; inoltre alcune son rese pregevoli dal costo e dalla grandezza altre soltanto dallafinezzae rarita, o dalla mano di un artistico da qualche altro motivo dipregio. Ma passiamo agli oggetti ornamentali, quantunque essi in gran parte appartengano alia suppellettile." (For it is enough for a modest man, not wealthy, to possess ornaments and decorative objects. Usually people give much praise when the number and rarity of ornaments is added to a variety of workmanship in both technique and media, as well as a series of objects of the same variety. It is not necessary that one have many cups sparkling on the shelf but that there be variety - some in gold and that their form be varied as well; a chalice, a wine bowl, a jug in any size, a plate with long handles or short. One ought to be seen to acquire some of these objects for use and ornament. Some [objects] are used solely for ornament and elegance. Furthermore, others are made valuable through their cost and size, others through their fineness and rarity or through a certain artist's hand and some objects for their decorative motifs. But let us go on to [the subject of acquiring objects] even though they, in great part, belong to the [larger genre] of decorative objects). 3 6  3 7  Lanteri, op. cit., p. 144. "Piu lodaramente sarai, tu, se in iscambio di cotesti ornamenti souerchi, vorrai vedereti la casa bene adobbata (pur che tu stia neltuoi termini) di Quello cose che all qualita vostra conoscer di conveniresi; perciochi gli ornamenti della casa dureneranno nella tua gioventute, et nella vecchiezza ancora; la ove quel del vestire in pochi mesi sogliano logorarsi." (See above p. 18). 3 8  44  The words " if in exchange for overwhelming costly adornments, you should prefer to see the house well decorated," assumes that women had a choice between buying objects for their personal attire or objects that would beautify the household. However, he warns women that, even though they will gain much praise for the way they have beautified their home, they should be realistic and remain within their budget. This indicates that not only did women acquire decorative objects, like maiolica, but that these purchases must remain economical. A contemporary plate suggests that women played a role in the acquisition of, not only decorative objects, but maiolica itself. A maiolica plate from Cafaggiolo (c. 1510) in Tuscany suggests this.  39  3. Cafaggiolo, Maiolica Plate with a Ceramic Painter and his Patrons, c. 1510. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England. 1717-1855 (With kind permission from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London).  Ibid., p. 144.  45  This maiolica plate depicts a couple sitting before a ceramic artisan, who is applying the finishing details to their commission. The ceramic plate being painted in front of the couple is clearly not a bella donna plate, because the central medallion is uncharacteristically small for such an image. A crest, saint or an allegorical figure is more likely to be depicted in this small space. While it is clear from Andreano da Concole's 40  "To the Master of Arduous Work at Deruta," that grooms were the purchasers of bella donna plates, the Cafaggiolo plate demonstrates that a man and a woman (husband and wife) went together to the artisan's workshops to acquire other varieties of maiolica plates (i.e. saints plates). However, a closer inspection of the plate raises new questions. It is clear that it is the female who holds a purse in her hand. Why is the woman entrusted with carrying the money? Is the male present her husband or simply a male chaperone?  41  Finally, for whom was the object created and what is its value to the individuals purchasing it? One can conjecture that this maiolica plate depicts a married couple purchasing a maiolica plate for their household. The exact purpose for the plate, whether moral or devotional, cannot be determined because we cannot clearly see the image depicted on the plate.  W. Watson, Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection (London: Scala Books, 1986), p. 67. This hypothesis is supported by Cafaggiolo scholar Dr. Alessandro Alinari, E-mail correspondence, 17 June, 2005. The plate painted by the artisan is certainly not a bella donna plate. If it was a saint then this would suggest that the woman was the purchaser, hence the change purse in her hand. The presence of the man there was as a chaperone, since the woman could not make purchases herself. Ibid., 7 June, 2005. Dr. Alessandro Alinari agrees that it is likely a married couple.  4 0  4 1  46  Value of Decorative Objects: the Moral and Spiritual Development of Women and Children Hagiographic literature, such as Jacobus da Voragine's (1230-1295) Legenda Aurea, provided women with an array of exemplary figures and saints to study and emulate. As part of a young girl's moral development, parents, at the insistence of 42  religious leaders, were encouraged to place saintly images in their daughters' bedroom. Generally, it was a specific group of female saints (St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Lucy) who were designated as suitable models worthy of meditation and emulation. As will be studied later, these saints were (along with St. Barbara and St. Cecilia) introduced to young girls in their childhood and remained important models to women throughout their lives. These saintly figures were represented on Deruta maiolica and were part of the household decorative objects placed in a woman's bedroom. As a result, when a wife took daily inventory of the objects in her bedroom, she was not only inspecting the condition of the piece, but she was looking at images which featured significantly throughout her life, right from childhood. Hence, these saints' plates appealed to not only a woman's spiritual affinities, but also in some way to a sense of nostalgia, as these saints had played a role in their childhood spiritual and moral development. Although I suggest that women acquired maiolica with these saintly figures after their marriage, their personal devotion to these saints had been established long before during childhood  G. Domenici, "Regola del Governo di cura familiare," Italian Art: 1400-1500: Sources and Documents ed. C. Gilbert (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1980), pp. 145-146. "And so too, little girls should be brought up in the sight of the eleven thousand virgins, discussing, fighting and praying. I would like them to see Agnes with the fat lamb, Cecilia crowned with roses, Elizabeth with many roses, Catherine with the wheel, with other figures that would give them love of virginity with their mother's milk, desire for Christ, hatred of sins, disgust at vanity, shrinking from bad companions and a beginning through the considering of the saints, of contemplating the supreme saint of saints." 4 2  47  Two Renaissance writers, Giovanni Domenici (fl. 1410) and Giovanni Michele Bruto (1517-1592), attest to the value of introducing important female images to young women in childhood. Domenici encouraged families to acquire decorative pieces with 43  images of female saints so that young girls might learn the behaviour expected of a Renaissance female of the middle class.  44  Meditation on idealized female figures and  saints on decorative pieces was not just restricted to childhood. Women had to consider anew these figures as they educated their own children. As we learn from Leone Battista Alberti (1404-1472), it was the role of the wife to educate her children and guide their moral development Thus, these particular female saints and exemplary figures 45  G. Michele Bruto, La Institutione divina Fanculla Nata Nobilamente (Antwerpen: Antwerpsche Bibliophielen, 1956), p. 13,30-31. "Molti chiari et illustri essempi, di virtuose donne, e famose, se le leggano piu tosto dalla sauia maestro; che ella con assidua et accurata lettione, parte dale sacre lettere, parte dalle historie de vecchi et de moderni tempi, havera raccolti; donde non solo le porgera diletto; ma quasi con aguto stimolo etpugnenete le movera I'animo a volere et a desiderare la virtu; et a sprezzare, et havere in odio il vitio. Divengono in questa guisa, gli animi grandi et heroici; ne pure di noi gia fatti mature, et di natura virile; ma delle tenere et dilicate fanciulle etiando; ne mai se le rappresenteranno innanzi, quelle famose Claudie, Portie, Lucretie et Ottavie, che non si desti ne loro animi, generosa emulatione, di divenire quandochesia, simili a loro; in tutto di disprezzado quelle, che per contraria via, habbiano corsi I giorni da loro vita." (Many brilliant and illustrious examples of virtuous and famous women should be read [by young girls] or, rather, by the sensible teacher. She will gather, with diligence and accurate tutelage, a collection [of stories of famous women] in part from sacred literature; in part from history, from both old and modern times. Hence, not only will the stories yield much delight but also with great force and feistiness, the stories will move the soul to wish for and desire virtue and also to despise and have hatred for vice. The girls [hearing the stories] will become, in this manner, great and heroic souls. Not only can one not put before [young girls], these famous women, Claudia, Portia, Lucretia and Octavia, without arousing in their souls the [desire] for overwhelming emulation to become at some point, whenever possible, like them. But also those of us who are already mature [feel the same way]. In addition, to despising those who lived out their days taking the opposite path); "... poiche tutto hoggimai in questa nostra eta, e recato da dotti huomini nella lingua nostra; oltre a sacri libri, i quali copia grande femministramo, che fanno al culto e all'ornamento degli animi; quello chescrisse Plutarcho delle donne illustri, degli antique tempi; e quello che molti secolipoi, il Boccaccio istesso; e degli altri alcuni anchora piu vicini a questa eta..." (Since everything these days in our age is brought by learned men into our language [the vernacular] aside from sacred books, copies of which adorn the soul that which Plutarch wrote, about the illustrious women of ancient times and that many centuries later of Boccaccio himself and of others some of whom are even closer to this age). 4 3  Domenici, op. cit, pp. 145-146. L. B. Alberti, I Primi Tre Libri della Famiglia, ed. F. C. Pellegrini (Firenze: Sansoni, 1946), p. 48; L. B. Alberti, The Family in Renaissance Florence, ed. R. Neu Watkins (Columbia, S. C : University of South Carolina Press, 1969), p. 40-50. "Ma pure non per contradirti, ma per certificarmi ove tu dicevi che sino dalla fascia e padri truovano ne 'figliuoli si gravissime maninconie, non mi persuade che un savio padre debba pigliarsi non che tristeza nell'animo alcuna, ma incarco, di molte altre cose, et di questo in prima, quale s 'appartiene alia femmine, alia nutrice, alia madre piu che al padre. Stimo tutta quella eta tenerina  4 4 4 5  48  remained models of proper feminine behaviour throughout a child's lifetime. As a 46  result, one can conclude that when women looked at these decorative pieces in their bedroom, they were not only surveying their placement and condition (as Lanteri suggested) but also they were reminded of the personal significance of that image. In turn, they contemplated the use of these images in the instruction of their children. As Domenici stated, images of female saints should be carefully selected and placed near young girls to teach them the important feminine virtues of "despising vanity" and "loving chastity." As discussed in chapter three, the primary saints representing these 47  values were St. Catherine, St. Barbara, St. Cecilia and St. Lucy. The placement of these images was critical to the promotion of the values of modesty and chastity. According to Alberti, the bedroom itself was the place where women and young girls, pondered the theme of chastity during their hours of domestic confinement. Bedrooms should be consecrated as "temples to chastity," an environment facilitating chaste thoughts. Such a chaste environment would strengthen the moral efficacy of exemplary figures. Alberti states in his VArchitettura: "I think that the locations [have] to be equally restricted and consecrated to religion and chastity; then also I would want clean private-quarters to be assigned to girls and virgins wherein their tender minds could control themselves." Hence, Alberti's words reinforce the 48  piu tosto dovuta al riposo delle donne che alle exercitio degli uomini." (Here let me say something, not to contradict you, but just to clarify for myself what you said about children and how, from the time of swaddling clothes on, they cause their father much anxiety. I am not convinced that a wise father would burden his soul or even concern himself at all with certain things, especially those which are women's domain and properly fall to the nurse and the mother much more than to the father, It seems to me that this whole tender age is more properly assigned to women's quiet care than to the active care of men.) Bruto, op. cit., p. 12. With the exception of the bella donna plates, wives themselves selected, acquired and interpreted the images on these decorative pieces for their children. Domenici, op. cit., pp. 145-146. L. B. Alberti, L 'Architettura [De Re Aedificatoria] ed. G. Orlandi (Milano: II Edizioni II Polifilo, 1966), L. 5. cap. XVII, pp. 425-427: "Ex Aemilio Probo historico solitos memini apud Graecos nonnisi in 4 6  4 7  4 8  49  arguments made by Lawrence (as well as Reverby and Helly) that female spaces in the Renaissance household were created architecturally and decoratively to reinforce the desired feminine values. As well, the objects within the bedroom were specifically 49  selected in order to remind the wife that the themes of modesty and chastity should be on her mind when she rested and meditated in her private quarters. From an axiological perspective the value of Deruta maiolica was derived from its ability to use images to educate and influence its female audience. Its axiological importance was not only based upon the imagery itself but, as Foucault and Greenblatt would have noted its placement in the bedroom and chapels. However, after 1550, maiolica ceased to have such an importance in women's lives as a didactic object and was no longer esteemed as an object of high value, reflected by a new placement in kitchens and utilitarian rooms.  conviviis propinquorum uxores adhibere, et partes aedium, ubi sedeent mulieres, quasdam esse, quo praeter cognates propinquiores homo accederet nemo. Et profecto, ubi quidem congruant mulieres, loca esse oportere arbitror non secus atque dicata religioni et castimoniae; turn et lauta velim istiusmodi assignari puellis et virginibus diversoria, quo molliculi earum animi istiusmodi conclavi minore cum tedio sui sese contineant. Matrona utilius illic assidebit, unde quae quisque domi agat intelligat. Sed non quae ad patrios cuiusque mores condicant, sequamur." (From the historian Aemilius Probus I remember that among the Greeks they were accustomed to confine their wives, except at meals with relatives and that there were certain parts of the houses where women resided to which no man had access except for close relatives. And actually, when indeed women meet, I think that the locations had to be equally restricted and consecrated to religion and chastity; then also I would want clean private-quarters to be assigned to girls and virgins wherein their tender minds could control themselves. An adult woman will quite usefully reside there so that she may know what each is doing at home. But let us follow what they dictate according to the ancestral customs of each). 4 9  Reverby and Helly, op. cit., p. 13; Lawrence, op. cit., p. 12.  50  The End of the "Golden Age" of Deruta Maiolica: The Diminishing Value of Deruta Maiolica The reasons for the end of the "golden age of maiolica," (post 1550) are complex. After 1550 the imagery, colouring, and even pottery shapes of Deruta 50  maiolica changed dramatically. W. David Kingery has attributed this change in style to the growing demand for Chinese porcelain by Italian aristocrats. Demand exceeded 51  supply, and resultingly, aristocrats encouraged local potters, in particular, from Faenza and Urbino, to experiment with local minerals, clays and glazes in order to replicate the porelessness, durability and scratch resistant properties of porcelain. Although Deruta potters' chief market was the middle class, they also adopted the pseudo-porcelain style because their middle class market also desired to emulate aristocratic tastes. Unable to recreate the qualities of porcelain, Deruta artisans instead adopted the blue and white colour palette and floral design scheme of Chinese porcelain and experimented with the ceramic formula. Although the Deruta artisans could not physically replicate porcelain, they attempted to give their ceramic pieces at least a similar veneer. As a result of these attempts, the Deruta artisans abandoned their traditional visual styles and ceramic technology and the maiolica manufacturing methods of the "golden age' were lost. As Cipriano Piccolpasso (1524-1579) states in Li Tre Libri dell'Arte del Vasaio (It. "The Three Books of the Potters Art;" c. 1548), the methods of maiolica production used during the "golden age" were rarely written down but passed  F. Abbozzo and T. Biganti, "Introduttivo: La Ceramica di Deruta, Un Quadro Storico," in Antiche Maioliche di Deruta per un Museo Regionale della Ceramica Umbra (Firenze: Nuova Guaraldi Editrice, 1980), pp. 13-14. W. D. Kingery and P. B. Vandiver, Ceramic Masterpieces: Art, Structure and Technology (New York: The Free Press, 1986), p. 135. Chinese porcelain possessed two essential ingredients, making it more durable and scratch resistant than maiolica: kaolin and petunse. These key components were unknown in the clays of Europe, but found in the Chinese mountains. 5 0  5 1  51  down from father to s o n .  52  B y 1600, traditional "golden age" Deruta maiolica was so  little sought after that the artisans did not consider documenting the modes o f production. Deruta artisans began to produce pseudo-porcelain with floral motifs instead o f maiolica o f all varieties (bella donna plates, lay saints, St. Francis, Turkish horseriders, male saints).  4. Deruta, Dish with St. Cecilia, c. 1600. Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Appendix B, Database II, no. 16. Ce 284 (This image appears with kind permission of the Museum of Anthropology).  Although inspired by the aristocratic desire for porcelain, Deruta still produced pottery for a middle class market. A s opposed to the pseudo-porcelain produced at Faenza and Urbino, which depicted aristocratic emblems, and heraldry the pseudoporcelain motifs produced by Deruta artisans featured non-aristocratic motifs appealing to the middle class (cherubs, florals and fauna).  C. Piccolpasso, Li Tre Libri dell'Arte del Vasaio, trans. B. Rackham and A. Van du Put (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1934), p. 1. "... glisegreti de dett'Arte, escetto certo recolette che tengano coloro che segretamente la maneggiano, tra quai molti sonno che per fin 'alultimo della lor Vita li tengano cellati ai proprifigliuoli,conoscendosi vicini al morire, tra le altre fachulta che lassano, chiamato a se il maggiore e piu avedutofigliuolo,che habbiano, a quello publicano questo secreto." (... the secrets of the [maiolica] arts, except for the recipes, they keep hidden evenfromtheir own children until the end of thenlives. Then knowing themselves to be near death, they call to their bedside the oldest and most esteemed son and they reveal this secret to him).  5 2  52  5. Deruta, Moldedfloral plate, c. 1600. Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Ce 221 (This image appears with kind permission of the Museum of Anthropology).  According to Kingery, Italian aristocrats became avid collectors of blue and white porcelain, because this genre permitted them to convey symbols of their authority, such as crests, surrounded by small floral decorations.  53  6. Deruta, Moulded Armorial Plate, c. 1600. Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Ce 279 (This image appears with kind permission of the Museum of Anthropology).  W. D. Kingery, op. cit., p. 136. Figure 6 is exceptional, it was produced at Deruta as a diplomacy gift but the vast majority of Deruta pieces were produced for the middle class. As Chart I: Distribution of Motifs on Existing Pieces of Deruta Maiolica (c. 1500-1550) demonstrates Deruta always produced small numbers of crest plates about 8% of their total ceramic production. The crests indicate that there were aristocratic patrons of Deruta maiolica but they were rare and one cannot attribute the success of Deruta maiolica in the Renaissance to aristocratic patronage. 5 3  53  Since aristocratic motifs could not have been purchased by middle class families, what cultural, social and aesthetic factors explain the abandonment of traditional Deruta maiolica images and why did pseudo-porcelain take its place ? Although an interest among the middle class in the conceits and aesthetics of court culture may explain a rapid change in taste among middle class buyers, the following chapter will show that middle class maiolica buyers were only partially influenced by the art and aesthetics of court culture. Rather, middle class buyers' tastes were dictated largely by their cultural and social needs. This seems to suggest that traditional Deruta maiolica no longer met the immediate needs of Italian middle class families after 1550. What changed in the lives of middle class Umbrian families which rendered bella donna plates unnecessary ? Clearly, families were still concerned with issues relating to marriage, but for unknown reasons, felt it no longer necessary to convey these values through pottery. Thus, axiologically, traditional Deruta maiolica had less value. It is beyond the scope of this thesis to investigate this question. However, one can hypothesize that growing literacy among men and women and less dependence upon imagery lessened the need for the promotion of values through ceramic objects.  The Late 17 - Early 18th Century: Maiolica as a Male Collectable Object th  During the 17 century maiolica began to be formally collected. However, the qualities which drew male buyers to acquire and collect Italian maiolica were not the same as those which attracted the original buyers: Renaissance middle class families. Deruta maiolica ceased to be acquired as an inspirational and devotional object reinforcing moral, social and religious values. Instead, it became a collectable antique  54  reflecting the erudition and sophistication of its owner. Deruta pieces initially made for middle class Umbrian Renaissance women were now purchased and formally collected by European aristocratic men, who viewed these plates as a visible endorsement of their status, knowledge, and learning. Male collectors now placed Deruta maiolica in their 54  studies, libraries and staterooms which were specifically male environments, populated by gentlemen and dignitaries, an area of the domestic space, ironically, in which women were forbidden to enter. Thus, women rarely gazed at Deruta maiolica after the 1600's, and instead upper class gentlemen were the owners and interpreters of these objects. Deruta maiolica pieces underwent a dramatic axiological shift in meaning and cultural significance reflected by the new gender of its owner and its placement. In the eyes of European collectors these pieces were appreciated because they depicted images with Classical, Neo-classical, humanistic and courtly themes, not moral and devotional themes. As will be discussed later, many of the prototypes used for maiolica imagery were derived from the engravings made by the artist Marcantonio Raimondi who based his work on Raphael (1483-1520). Raphael greatly appealed to 18 and 19 century 55  th  th  English and European gentlemen, and for this reason the documents and archives of the period refer to maiolica as Raphael ware. As the name indicates, collectors associated 56  Italian maiolica with the high art of the Renaissance masters and placed maiolica and  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey, ed. and trans. W. H. Auden and E. Mayer (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1962), p. 128; V. Coltman, "Classicism in the English Library: Reading Classical Culture in the late 18 Century and Early 19* Century," The Journal of the History of Collections 11 (Nov., 1999), pp. 35-50. D. Landau and P. Parshall, The Renaissance Print: 1470-1550 (London: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 103. C. Drury E. Fortnum, Maiolica: South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks (London: Chapman and Hall, 1875), p. 62. Fortnum states: "... the name "Raffaelle Ware" was doubtless derived from the subjects after his designs with which so many pieces were painted, [sic] andfromthe grotesques after his manner."  5 4  th  5 5  5 6  55  paintings together in an environment commensurate with a piece of high art (like a Raphael painting), the gentlemanly library or state room. According to Vesey Norman, the personal inventories of Cardinal Mazarin in France (1603-1661) show that he collected Italian Renaissance maiolica and regarded them as important pieces to his personal art collection. Mazarin was the first recorded 57  "collector" of Italian maiolica. Mazarin's household inventory shows he owned thirteen maiolica pieces (with religious scenes and mythological scenes) which were placed on the mantlepiece in his drawing room, a prominent place in his household, clearly visible to visitors and dignitaries. European royalty, such as the Romanovs at the imperial court 58  in St. Petersburg (their collection later became the Hermitage Museum) and Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1684), also began to amass large maiolica collections during the 17 century. Maiolica's placement was public, advertising its owner's th  59  sophistication and learning. It is difficult to determine whether families of lesser nobility collected the pieces of Italian Renaissance maiolica at this time. It is likely that most maiolica pieces of the "golden age" (c. 1500-1550) remained in the homes of Italian middle class families, who had originally purchased them. Instead of being sold they were handed down to the succeeding generations. Thornton argues that significant pieces of maiolica, such as deschi da parto (It. "birth plates"), were saved by mothers and passed on to their A. V. B. Norman, Wallace Collection: Catalogue of Ceramics 1: Pottery, Maiolica, Faience, Stoneware (London: Trustees of the Wallace Collection, 1976), p. 19. Ibid., p. 20. The way of describing the pieces in terms of their mythological and religious content reflects the preoccupation and interests of the collector, Cardinal Mazarin, who clearly acquired the pieces because they reflected his interests in such themes. As noted above, the manner in which collectors organized, catalogued and displayed their pieces greatly affects the way in which they are interpreted. This inventory is informative because it not only describes the imagery on these plates, but it also indicates where it was placed, reflecting the axiological notion of its relation to value. Ibid., p. 21; H. Dahlback Lutteman, "Kristina-Servisen," in Majolika frdn Urbino och andra Orter I Italaen INationalmuseum, Stockholm (Stockholm: Liber Folag, 1981), p. 11-23. 5 7  5 8  9  56  children. However, it was apparent that families who owned these artifacts did not 60  assign any particular monetary or social value to them because they were not included in family household inventories after 1550. This demonstrates the relative insignificance of these pieces and that they may have even been used as kitchen ware, not considered valuable enough to be included in the household accounting.  61  It is not until the 17 century that maiolica pieces were finally recorded in th  household inventories of aristocratic houses, signifying that maiolica was an object again appreciated for its aesthetic and cultural value. The sudden appearance of maiolica in household inventories after an extended period of neglect demonstrates the growing esteem for maiolica among arist