Ceramics by Galileo Chini, from Renaissance to Art Nouveau

In 1896, Florentine painter Galileo Chini (1873-1956) and some of his friends founded “Arte della Ceramica”. The factory – its logo featuring a pomegranate and two clasped hands – soon gained international fame.

The large berry full of tasty red seeds was a tribute to the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris, founder of the Art and Crafts movement, who often featured the symbolic fruit in their works.

The clasped hands represent the brotherhood and unity between the founders, whose artistic partnership was similar to an Anglo-Saxon brotherhood; they felt a strong bond to the city of Florence, and wanted to preserve its art and tradition of ceramics, by contributing their modernist and innovative spirit.

Here are some of the vases produced by Galileo Chini, an Art Nouveau genius who understood how to harmonize experimenting with materials, the great iconographic novelties that were coming to Northern Europe at the time, and taste inspired by Florentine Renaissance masters such as Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.

With some of these splendid works, Chini and his colleagues reached unexpected celebrity, winning important awards such as the gold medal at the Turin International Exhibition of 1898, and gaining recognition around the world.

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