The Arts Of Fire – The Islamic Influences On Glass And Ceramics Of The Italian Renaissance
THE ARTS OF FIRE
during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy signify high points of Renaissance art production. Commonly known as Cristallo and maiolica, these were groundbreaking art forms that established taste and became the envy of European courts and other collectors for the next three hundred years.
To this day, the visual appeal of these objects, at times stunningly beautiful and virtuosic, stimulates both the passion to collect them and the interest to study them.
Since the late nineteenth century, research by collectors, curators, and scholars has helped to fill in the picture of Italian maiolica and glass production.
Much of this research concentrates on placing these art forms within the Italian cultural and social context, and rightly so.
But this artistic production would not have been possible without the technological and formal advances that arrived in Italy from outside the peninsula.
The Arts of Fire, and the exhibition it accompanies, concentrate on the sometimes overlooked contributions that came to Northern Italian glassmakers and ceramists from the Islamic world.
The Getty s collection of Italian ceramics and glass has been ably documented in recent collection catalogs.
Now Catherine Hess, author of those earlier volumes and associate curator in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, has initiated an exploration of the Museums objects from a new angle of vision