An outstanding production of the Italian Renaissance, maiolica ware has long been prized and collected. In his home city of Castel Durante, Cipriano Piccolpasso wrote the first European treatise devoted to ceramics. Piccolpasso described the working practices of a manufacturing process methodically and left an extraordinary account of the art of maiolica and its secrets. He is eager to convey information both on technical matters and ornament, disclosing recipes of pigments and glazes as well as drawing tools and equipment. His affectionate and detailed views of potters at work make these illustrations memorable by their charming liveliness.
Compiled probably in 1557 but unpublished, the manuscript survived for three centuries before being bought by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 1934, Bernard Rackham and Albert Van de Put produced an authoritative translation into English with facsimiles of illustrated pages. New research enabled the art historian Ronald Lightbown and the potter and lustre-ware specialist Alan Caiger-Smith to produce in 1980 a facsimile of the whole manuscript with scholarly introduction and commentary. Their acclaimed but limited edition of 1980 in now made available again with a preface by Rowan Watson, Senior Curator in the National Art Library at the V&A.
Auteur: Cipriano Piccolpasso
Parution: octobre 2007
Relié, 23 x 30 cm, 160 pages, 156 illustrations