Skip to main content

Full text of "Italian ceramic art : The maiolica pavement tiles of the fifteenth century"

See other formats

45 IS 





Cornell University Library 

Italian ceramic art :Tiie maiolica paveme 

3 1924 020 538 926 


Cornell University 

The original of this bool< is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


Edition of 

two hundred 

and fifly copies 

, printed on 

O.W. Papir I3 



Lion Court, 

Fleei Street. 


No. 7^ 




UnIFOHM with the EBEKBlfT WOBK. 

THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE. With Iuustbations. 1900. 

TioNs. I go I. 

^^7^>^^4^>K«%•>^:v■<^ K 






TN selecting the illustrations of the XV th century Italian pave- 
ments, the aim has been to render a general idea of each by- 
giving a few typical examples of its component tiles. Were it not 
that these pavements are now so few, the space of time included 
between the earliest and the latest would be too long to be dealt 
with in a single study. But seeing that the larger number of thentx 
have perished, the convenience of the student of this important 
phase of Italian maiolica will, probably, best be consulted by pre- 
senting the illustration of those still remaining in one series. 

I shall ever gratefully remember the kind assistance I received, 
while making studies of the objects, from the Directors of the 
Museums possessing examples of the tiles and from the Guardians 
of the Monuments and Churches wherein are the pavements, and 
for which I beg to offer those gentlemen my sincere thanks. 

H. W. 


JN Italy, as in otber eoTi»tyiea which have been celeh rated for 
theip ceramic art, the potter's ontput was developod in two 
direfctiona, one being vasework, the other tileworlj. The evidence 
as to priority of production is, perhaps,- in no ijistnnee very de-> 
ei&ive, but that the two branches of the art were inspired by 
amilar ideals^ and were subject to like iiifluenpes,' was the general 
rule. They were, indeed, 80 closely related that it may be said the 
exifitenoe of one implied that of the other , In the case of a long 
past art, the remains of which have become buried itt the earthj it 
may, of course, happen that only one kijjd has been disgqvered, as 
the wail-tiles at Susa, So it was with the spleotlid Persian tiles, 
which were known gome tjtne befoie the contemporary yases 
reached Europe. The tiles and vases of Paniascus are equally 
beautiful; in their case the vases had acquired celebritj' whilst the 
ijles were comparatively upknown outside their native land. If 
in the above instances we are uncertain as to which byaneb of the 
art bad first arrivedf^not precisely at maturJtj', but at that stage 
when the work was executed with a certain amount of facility, the 
doubt hardly exists respecting the naaiolica production of Italy, 
There we find the vasewoik tentative and immature in its naani- 
puktion a century older than the earliest known maiojica tiles. 


while these in their artistic treatment— allowing for a certain 
quaint simplicity of motive — are executed with easy mastery. 
Judging from references both literary and pictorialj they appear 
to have rapidly come into general use, as well for domestic as 
ecclesiastical buildings: of the earliest examples of the former 
class probably none exists ; of the latter, which there are good 
reasons for believing the pavements were numbered by hundreds, 
we can now scarcely count a dozen, the rest having been swept 
away, from the XVIIth century downwards, to give place to forms 
of art at once pretentious and insipid. 

Whether regarded from the historic or sesthettc point of view, 
these relics of the ceramic art of the XVth century, the century 
wherein the supreme achievement of the Italian Renaissance, was 
concentrated, are equally instructive to the connoisseur and the 
student of art-history. They embody a phase of artistic invention 
which is absolutely unique. They likewise furnish information 
respecting the progress of the art of the Italian maiolicanti ob- 
tainable from no other source. For whilst the vasework of the 
century is conspicuously lacking in inscribed dates, on these they 
are sometimes present, and when this is not the case they contain 
internal evidence indicating their period of production often within 
very narrow limits. But their documentary value is of secondary 
importance compared with their intrinsic artistic qualities, indi- 
vidually and as parts of carefully considered decorative schemes, 
in the latter respect being especially deserving attention. Those 
still remaining in the places where they were laid down are 
usually found in chapels, and it was preeminently in these edifices 
that much of the finest artistic work of the XVth century, whether 
in painting or sculpture, was executed. These chapels, the cyno- 
sure of many an artistic pilgrimage even at the present day, when 
so much of their glory has departed, stand forth not only as models 
of architectural style, but also as examples of perfect adaptation of 
decorative effect in all particulars. 

The subjective scheme usually followed in the quattrocento 


chapel was logically conceived in accordance with the symbolic 
spirit of the age. The Evangelists, or sometimes the Greater 
Prophets, the inditers of the Sacred Word, wore depicted in glory 
on the ceiling. Scenes from the life of the founder's patron Saint 
formed the subjects of the frescoed walls. The Redeemer, whether 
as " gracious Child or thorn-crown'd Man," was the central figure 
of the composition surmounting the altar, and the tiled floor, in a 
soft haze of blended colours, suggesting the flower-enamelled 
fields of the heavenly paradise, completed the mystic yet well- 
ordered design. They completed the decorative scheme, they gave 
the last delicate embellishment to the ideal conception, but with 
rare tact and intelligence the artists abstained from attempting to 
compete with the dramatic interest dominating the pictorial art in 
the other parts of the chapel. Hence their aim was to suggest an 
unpremeditated art. Ornamental motives are hinted rather than 
elaborated. They are like the snatches of melody which some 
skilful musician will evoke when passing his fingers apparently at 
random over the kej'board. Each tile bears its separate orna- 
mental motive^ as a bird, an animal, or a fish ; occasionally it is a 
head in profile, then probably a portrait of some one associated 
with the chapel; not infrequently the arms or impresa of its 
founder are depicted, or a motto, or the initial letter of the name 
of the Virgin. More often, however, it is a simple passage 
of conventional ornament. All these unpretending designs are 
intended to charm and interest'by their naivety and simplicity, they 
supply the element of repose necessary in all well-concerted artistic 
compositions. After contemplating the high-strung themes of the 
linural compositions, wherein may have been portrayed the death- 
agony of the martyr, or some solemn scene of trial and suffering, 
the eye falls on the painted floor and finds in its candid, artless 
delineations precisely that rest which is grateful after the previous 
tension. It is the duplication in pictorial art of Shakespeare's 
method in his tragic scenes. The art actually influencing the 
Italian maiolica tiles of this period was probably that of the Xlllth 



centnry Persiaii Justped tiles, whereon are so often seen motives of 
a similar kind, Tiae fanciful designs displayed on the Persian 
carpets, which yrere ijnpc^ted into Jtaly at this time, may also 
h^ye exerted ^n influence pn the tile-^painters. 

T^ie earliest existing inaiolica paveii^ept kr(pwn to the writer js 
thi»t in the Care^cpic4o Ghapejl ol" the, chuych of S. Grigyanni a, 
Carbopar^, at Naples (see |igs. 1-8). The chapel contains, the 
tpinb tvnd was decor£\ted in honour of ^W Qianni Caracciolo, Gr^nd 
Seneschal ^n4 fayovrite of Queen Joanna II. of Naples. He was 
assassinated i\i, 1433 ; allov^ing, therefore, a few years for the com-; 
pletion of t^ei chapelj the date nsnally assigned for the pavement, 
— abo\;t 1440^ma!y he a|Ccepted without hesitation ; especially 
since the rest Osf th,e decoration of the chapel belongs to this period; 
^§ tP the pr,oven?inpe: of tlte tiles, no doonme^its irelating to, tlieir 
purchase or their fabrication having yet b^en discovered, the clue 
inUiSt be sought for in the comparisgn of their tecjtin^ne and design 
yvith other examples of Italian ceramic art. In these ; pavtieulars. 
their affinities ^ire with, central Italiji-n a^d especially Tuscan pottery, 
no, knovyn Neapolitan ware in any way resembling them in oo^n^i- 
mental motives. R^spps fpr accepting this 9J:igin ai'e fqnpd. in 
^^ fact that no^th and centra,! Italian artists, as. Giottp and 
Donatelio, executed impprtupt work ai; Na,p)**s duiing the 2CIYtl^ 
and, ^yth cpnti^rij^s : eyen in, the chjipel to which the tiles beilpng 
the, i^esoos, are in,scribed " Le.pnaiijdus de Bisucpio ^ Medi,pl,<iinp, 
hisnp ofipellam et bpc sepulcrum pinsit." * ^Ofltip ppnfirmatiipn o;^ 
the supposition tljat they mjiy, have been ifljjpoj^teji from Tujscany i^ 
burnished by a, dpcnment referring to a cpnm^J^sion give© from. 
Nipples in 1488 by Giuljanp du JMajano, then in, the service. p£ 
King Ferrante, to his bj;pther Benedetto da Majaup ait Florence 
for 205O(;)p tiles to b,e used in buildings Mdiiph Giuliano yira? erecting 
for the King. " 24maggio, 1488, A Jujliaflj^o, et hei;ede.d' Antonio 
Gondi septanta npvp d|ue- Uno t[ari] .(jug^ifo g];,[a,na]| per b^nPO 

^. See Qno^Y^E and CAVAj^c.-vsELtE : HjiBt. of Poiji-tLpg in Italy, %;oL i. p, 8^3. 

da Palftier [Palmieri] 6 sohno per valuta d* fiotmj LXXIdegrdsM 
L*{fghi] s[ol<li3 VII d[('iiari3 Vllf fclie ailiio fcltts piigare in 
Fiteriza zoefciv^J a Bfeljedctto de Mayaflo per XX" [20,000] 
flfiattonj* 6orifi| LXII s. s^." {See ArcMif. StOr. Ifepoh vol. xx. 
p. 3§8j citt«d l^> Dr. von F'abficssy ift the ' Bepertorkm ftir Kunsfci- 
-Wtesenseteft,' xx. Baud, 2 Heft, p. §6.) If in 1488 fin afchiteotat 
HapleS sent to Flofefice for tifes it itiay be fairly inferred tbait they 
«ortM fiot have been obtained in tlie forme* city, still less likely U 
it that shsilir aa-ticlfes were made there fifty years previously. H 
ftorther Wmfirmation -were needed it ^H be found in the sttoflg 
indicatioa ef the Oriefitai inflttenoe which is characteristic of 
Tnscian and Fa van tine pbttery of the first half of tlie century i The 
pt'ex^ailMg deep blues and purpies enlivened by toucTies of trans* 
j>a*eQfc g^eeu On the tiles are entirely Eastetn,' and as with the 
j^tette so ^tli t^e design, thcf artiinafe, tlie iowersy the arms, and 
the iijsoriptjons bfettted as ofnainenf, are ail remitiisCent of the 
VHftk of the €)ri«nta4 aJrtists on carpet* or tiles. 

Whilst the evidence leaves little doubt as to the approxifiiiafca 
date of the Gataccrolo pSitement, it is l«ss easy to poiat to tbat 
■which should be placed next to it in chronological se^ti^nee. H^d 
the deciaofj t»' bfe d^tertnined' by style alone, one might' snggest 
that of the Tetiipiettd di gta. Maria delfe Peste, atiTibrber. Bwt 
Ifeisj one of the iteosft lovely aM3iiteeturai geiUs of the early Italian 
Renaissance, soexqnisite in its" pi-oportions, so refined in its stone 
eAmng and' mtrtrldiiigs i&at one almost dfesims it should be put 
■aittder glass to be preserved for all time, is said to date from the 
year 1494, wllich p'lftces it a^ttut at the end" of onr lifet.' There is, 
however, at Viterfjo anotiier tile pavement in tlie MazKHtostaehapel 
of the ehttrcb of Sta. Maria della V«rita, which may, perhaps, 
preper'ly follow daat of Naples in the order of rotation (see figs.' 10- 
34). The chapel, dedicated to ihe Virgin in honour of herappe*r- 
i»g in the us.ual casual manner to the usual " mammoJini/' was 
founded by Nardo M;(zzatosta, who belonged to a wealthy family 
of Viterbo. It is celebrated in the story of lialiali pointing for 


the remarkable frescos by Loi'enzo di Giacomo da Viterbo deco- 
rating its walls and roof; of these the Marriage of the Virgin, 
containing portraits of the notabilities of the time, introduced after 
the manner of Benozzo Gozzoli, the master of Lorenzo, ranks with 
the best mural painting of the period*. Lorenzo finished his 
work in 1469, which, it may fairly be inferred, is the date of the 
pavement. As we look up from it to the paintings it soems that 
some of the profiles on the tiles were even drawn by his own hand, 
not, of course, the majority of the heads, since they show the less 
skilled work of an assistant. There appears to be no evidence as 
to where the tiles were made. Judging from the simple but not 
inartistic Viterbese pottery of the present day, a " body " of ex- 
cellent quality is found in the neighbourhood of the city, hence 
the pavement may be a local production ; the ornament perhaps in 
that case having been painted by an artist from one of the more 
famous centres of maiolica fabrication. The affinities of style in 
the scroll ornament with that on the tiles of the della Rovere chapel 
at Rome, and with those , of the Podorico chapel at Naples, show 
that the painter was familiar with the current decorative motives 
of the period. 

The tiles which formed the pavement in a chamber of the 
nunnery of S. Paolo at Parma, and which are now in the 
Museum^ of that city (see figs. 25-34), were considered by the 
Marchese Giuseppe Campori to have been made in the year 1503, 
on the ground that a partially illegible inscription on one of them 
contained that date t- At the same time the Marchese points out 
that several tiles bear a shield surmounted by a crozier, whereof one 
is signed MA-BN, and suggests the letters are an abbreviation of 
the name of Maria de Benedictis, who was Abbess of the Monastery 
from 1471 to 1482. He further mentions that the head of a Pope, 
with surrounding oak-leaves, is depicted on another of the tiles, 

* For a learned and interesting notice of the Mazzatosta chapel, see Dr. CoR- 
BADO Ricci, Lorenzo di Viterbo, Avchiv. Stor. dell' Arte, vol. i. 1888. 

t See Campori in Istorie delle Fabbriche di Majoliche Metaurensi, Vanzolini, 
vol. li. p. 281. 



From a tile on the S. Paolo, 
Parma, payement. 

which suggests the Pope belonged to 
the della Rovere family, and might 
therefore have been Sixtus IV. (1471- 
1484). On the supposition that he 
was the Pope represented, and that the 
arms were those of Maria de Benedictis, 
M. Eniile Molinier is of opinion that 
the pavement was hi id down during 
the period she was Abbess ; for these 
reasons he dates the tiles at about 
1482*. In deciding between these 
two dates one has to take into con- 
sideration the technique and ornamental 
motives of the tiles, and these rather 
point to an art twenty years earlier than the time stated by the 
Marchese, and which agrees with the period suggested by 
M. Molinier. As to the provenance of the tiles, the archives of 
Parma show that potters were working in that city during the 
XIV th and succeeding centuries, the names of several being given 
by the Marchese Campori ; it is also recorded that some worked 
for the art-loving Gonzagas at Mantua) and hence were skilled 
artists. It may therefore be concluded that the pavement was 
home-made ; it is even possible that the figure-subjects it contains 
may have been designed by a Parmesan painter of the period, 
Jacopo Loschi ; Prof. Comm. Adolfo Venturi tracing a marked 
resemblance in the types of the figures and the drawing of the 
heads in his frescos with those in the tiles f. 

It is to these busts and figure-subjects that the pavement owes 
its exceptional position amongst those of the quattrocento. Besides 
compositions like the Judgment of Paris and the Pyramus and 
Thisbe, there are allegorical figures of the Virtues, men-at-arms on 
horseback, knights, ladies and pages, a man leading an ass, another 

• See MoLiNiEB : La C^ramique Italienne au XV* Siecle, 1888, p. 89, 
t See Ventubi : L'Arte, 1900, p. 378. 


cutting vwjodj a, lawyer and numerous profiles and busts, which are 
admirable in character and drawing. There are, of coarse, birds, 
animals, conven^ani^l floral ornament, escutcheons, imprese and 
ijnscriptions 5 among these latter given by the Marchese Oampori 
BELi^A— PER BEIJ iURE, etc. Oc0iSi®«m% on Ae ferw«*t 
of the male p0rtrai^ts is seen a cavto^no beariflig an iJisoirtpMoa 
which the March^se reads sia dato in man a Svcomed&^ but with- 
out explaining its meaning, It must be admitted that eome of 
the 8ulb|ects are scarcely those calculated to promote a highly 
devotional strain of thought in the minds of the vestals who had 
vowed to renounce the pomps and vanities of the world'; indeed, 
they tend rather to confirm the account that later on, in the next 
century, the rel,axation of discipline became so flagrant as to call, 
forth a severe r^rimand from Pope Adrian VI. ^The room to 
which the pavement formerly belonged appears, unlilie the cele- 
bra,ted Camera dL San Paplo decorated by Correggiq, to have beea 
devoid of wall-painting, which may account for the draiaiati<j 
character of the incidents depicted on the tiles. 

A group of pavements which probably followed that of Saft 
Paolo in chrouQlogical succession comprises those in the \)rell- 
Ifnown della^ Rovere chapel at Sta.. Maria del Popolo at HoijaOf 
ffiigs, 35,. 36) and in four; other chapels at Naples (s^ie figs., 37-4P)^ 
S.ta. IJijlaria del Popolo was rebuilt in. 1477 : die della Royere 
chjq)el contains the tonab of Cardinal Gcioyanoi deUa Hflvere, 
brother of Pope Julius II., the Gajdinal dying in 1483, but there 
appears to. be ng record giving the time whea the chapel; was 
iinished, nor even when the paintings in it by Pinturicchio \yere 
CK^eutqd, ; it is, not, however, unreasonable to suppose that both 
they a»d the pavement were completed within a few yeaiss of th* 
death of the Cardinal. The freedom in tjie design, and the 
passages of deep orange peculiar to the. maiolica of the last 
twenty years of the century, favour the attribution at this date 


ibfthe tiloH. Xhe iacliiiatioH to ascribe them to Urbino is natural, 
cOTjsideriiig tke relations of the della Rover© teiiljr with tbut city, 
but Hie assumption is based on no direct evidence whatsoever ; it 
seems, therefore, more advisable to leave the q[u^iioa open. The 
four Neapolitan pavements are those of the Braaca^ocio diapel in 
S. An^elo a Ni^ the Poderico chapel in S. Loren/o Maggiore, 
the dei Petra chapel at S. Pietpo a Maiella, and the cappella dei 
llartiri at S. Caterina a Foruiielk), this last being probaUy the 
latest in date. They all contain sunilar motives of ornamentation 
to the Parma ^nd Home pavements, e^ccepting^ of coarse, as to tte 
figajrc^subjjects at Parma. They display likewise a siiuilar paliette 
composed of deep and pole bkie,,green^ pale yeUow,^^ and ora»ge, 
with maugan^se. The pve^les have not the masterly dj-'awing of 
those in the Parma tiles 4 they m«iy,:kowever, b© moieappropriatev 
considered as motives of deoorati«n ; for birdj-paintin-g they are 
excelled by ao oihers. It was said the (JaEaeciela dies were 
probably TuscftB, but a ^onsidecable spaeo of ticne se^araiiBg-theQi: 
from th« present <m9s, an atteoij)ted appr®cia4ioH oi. the style audT 
technique of these by a comparison with the earlier work; would 
not allow any Trdiafele deduction as to provenance ; perhaps, all 
thai can be suggested on tMs point i«, thast we have here orna- 
mental motives analogous to 'those on Faventiae poitery. The, 
stiudent will find a valuable critical rwtice of these and o&en 
Neapolitan tile»-pavements in an article by Prof. Gomm, Gtovanm 
Te^or-one in a recent number of ' Napoli Nobilissima' *. Some 
c^Fmiug illustrations ia chromolithogra^hy of the tiles- in Ae dei 
Petra chapel are given by Prince Filangieri iii his leaiused mono- 
gRiph on the church of S.Pietro.a Maiella t : the 4ake suggiested 
by the Prince, the commencement of the XVfch century, is^ at 
course, erroneous ; the mistake was, however, pardonable enough; 
at tlie time the volume was written. 

* SeeTEsOBONE: Napoli Nobilissima, Pa vijnenti Maiolicati del XV e. XVI 
Secolo, vol. X. 1001, p. 115. 

t Don Gaetano Filangiebi : Chiesa e Convento di S. Pietro a Maiella in 
Napoli, 1884, p. 70. 



From a tile on tlxe San Petronio, 
Bologna, pavement. 

Every student of the history of 
Italian maiolica knows and duly 
prizes Dr. Luigi Frati's masterly 
study on the pavement of the S. Se- 
bastian chapel, formerly belonging 
to the Vaselli family, in San Pe- 
tronio at Bologna (figs. 41-50) *. 
Painstaking in research, and clear 
in its exposition, it is a model of all 
that is required in a work of this nature ; moreover, it is about the 
earliest publication on the subject treated in the true scientific 
spirit. Dr. Frati's account of the tiles being so well known, it is 
unnecessary on this occasion to do more than remind the reader 
that they came from the pottery of the Casa Betini at Faenza, 
and that they are inscribed with the date 1487. It will be re- 
membered that the author gives the deed drawn by the notary, 
Rer Nicolo Fasanini, whereby the chapel is assigned to the Canon 
Donati Vaselli conditionally on his decorating it throughout, 
including the pavement — " Super terram vero ipsius capelle fieri 
fecit pulcherrimam salicatam de quadrittis vitreatis cum diversis 
rebus in illis coloratis." Another maiolica pavement, of which the 
enamel is worn off the majority of the tiles, still remains in the 
Bentivoglio chapel of the church of S. Giacomo Maggiore, at 
Bologna ; its date of fabrication is assigned by Dr. Frati to a time 
between the years 1487-1494. It is no easy matter to discern the 
original ornamentation of the tiles ; two, however, will be found in 
M. Molinier's volume above mentioned t- 

It has been stated that the Tempietto di Sta. Maria della Peste 
at Viterbo was erected in 1494, consequently the tiles (figs. 51-58) 
may be accepted as of about that period. The pavement, although 
in fairly good state, has been disturbed in places, and, at a time not 

* Fbati : Di un pavimento in Maiolica nella Biisilica Petroniana alia cappella 
di S. Sebaatiano, Bologna, 1853. 
t Molinieb:" op. cit. p. 58. 


known, in part renewed with tiles of a later date, 2 cm. larger in 
size than the original ones. Some of the earlier tiles bear letters, 
the inscription they formed having apparently been disarranged ; 
Sig. Ing. Valerio Caposavi, in whose charge are the monuments of 
the city, has, however, discovered it contains the words PAVL^S 
NICOLAI PINSIT. The writer is indebted to Sig. Caposavi for 
the information that Paulus Nicolai lived in Viterbo at the end of 
the XVth century. As will be seen by the profile. -between the 
letters FE (fig. 55), the style of drawing is somewhat primitive ; 
so are likewise the motives of ornamentation, which have none of 
the free flowing lines of the tiles in Sta. Maria della Verity, but 
their unaffected simplicity admirably harmonizes with the senti- 
ment which has inspired the classic decoration of the temple, itself 
reminiscent of the traditions of ancient Etruscan art. The colour- 
scheme is conceived in the same spirit, the prevailing tones being 
dark and pale blue, with occasional passages of green and orange 
sparingly applied. 

Perugia, which was probably once rich in maiolica tile pave- 
ments, can now only show two of the XVth century, and these are 
little more than wrecks. The one is in the church of the Confra- 
ternity di S. Benedetto (fig. 59), the other in the Oratorio, di 
S. Bernardino (fig. 60), both being in a deplorable state of preser- 
vation. Besides the square tiles in S. Bernardino there were others 
of triangular form, twelve composing a hexagon, the colours appa- 
rently having been in green and brown, but without ornament. 
The University Museum of the city contains in its collection some 
remains of tiles of the period, the writer could not learn whence 
they came (see fig. 61). They were all probably made either at 
Perugia or at the neighbouring Castello of Derata. Fig. 62 is from 
Deruta, similar examples are now in the municipal museum and 
also incrusted in the wall of a church. It will be observed that 
the design is directly copied from an Oriental tile or vase, the same 
may be said of fig. 63 ; its provenance is unknown to the writer. ^ 
All that he has been able to learn of fig. 64 is that it came from 

Eeragia j ihe type being cwfainly Uihbri*». Pig* 65, wHeh is 
iacrtisted ia thte wall of tile atriam of S^ Francesos *t Bfli^gna, 
si 99 stands aIoite» It was' found in ifae restoration of theeiitireh, 
sliili in pr«gres3< Tkdre i»0St likely ^xist f urtiiei* exajRf)lei8f or at 
leiisii rettijiiitt of tlns« old maiolii^ iile pavotnentie^ in i«moie eomev^ 
rflfesiyv tbe 'disfiOvety of wfeick ■will pew«#<£ the reseaa'cfli df fiitflro 
^v€stigaitor& Fittm 'whai the waiter lias been iiifornted bfy I^flliaits 
inter ei^ed in the gJoTi«s of ihefMta*t of thdsr coianttyyitfe eertais 
Mtxt m«ay weKe stitl in pkuseid the beginning of &0 l4st c^nttii^; 
they "were t» be seei* in Siefta oven withja tbe la«t fiiS&f years, but 
-when the rage iov restoration set Ift abot^ Urni time' iekef we$re 
broken ttp awd tbro'Wii iatway by tb© restoring a^cWteots. Seeing 
iiie spirit' {jrevafling among iskose responsiblo for the p^eSefvaition 
of ancient montoHewte in Italy at the prftsettt day, the plfospBei on 
this question is brighter ; should aaiy fntfther exanipleB of thefee 
paveiMents be-hsocefOTth diiscovercd there is a teasonaible ptobahiUty 
that they will be carefully preserved. 

The tile& illnstrated in figs. &6-76 aire speeiirtens of a larger 
wnmber belonging to the Museo Civico at Turin, srome «f the stime 
Bfcjrfe are also to be seen at the Bratisih Museum and Soraith Kensing- 
ton, it AS'ill be observed that fig. 66 is inscribed 15011 on si- 
easttelino : this was most likely nitended for 1501 or 1511 ; in any 
case the art is that of ith© XViJi ceotdry, A comparisoQ with th« 
S»n. Petroni® tiles shows aaatogies in the lOrnattiienM motives 
saggeefcing that tliese also are of Faventine origin, altbongh latei* 
in .date*. Thus, examining figs. 42 and 71' it is obvious that th« 
(k"aalgbtsinan of one bad seen the Other, o* *t least a drawing of it, 
tiie atiitaide of the hare and the coaftSrtliation' of tbe fot^gromnd' 
lear-ve littie djoufot on thaf pdnt. Bflt ihe sty of the Turin '^te has 
floating eteudlets^ wlnfo tHab from Bologna* has the feackgttound^ 
sown witJi^ the triple dbts.'Of early XVtli centui*y wwrk ; O-thei? 
details tending to the same coociwsioas will nofc escape ihe disoem- 
iiig reader.. 11 Sig. Gomm. ¥ittorio Avondo, I?ir©ctor of the Turin^ 
Mttseum,. informed the writer that he *a« unaware of the place 

>vhepe the p£>veinent originally stood : similur tilos, however, have 
been traped to Tuscaiiy, and Prpf. F, Argnani presented the writer 
^'ith one found in Faenza, 

Fr-ow the examples discovered within recent jeara it i^ evident 
tiiat glazed tiles were largely vjaed in the pavements of the Vatican 
and the Castel di St. Apgelo dnripg the XVth and. the coromenQe- 
ment of the XVIth century, At St, Angelo Major Borgatti haa 
(JiseoYered sopie very preoio\is remains of the pavement of tlie 
small cshapel or oratory of Pope lioo X., the facade of which is said 
to have heen designed by Michael Ajigelo. The origioal tiles were, 
ojf course, of the period, a few of these remainiBg in spots near the 
walls. But near the altar are seen others bearing the arms ©f 
Pppe Nicolas V. (1447-^1455), painted in dark blue and manganeea 
with touches of pale yellow (see figs. 77-=60). During the French 
occupation a century ago, the chapel appears to have been used as 
an office, when the present cement pavement may possibly have 
been la^i^ dowij, the few Nicolas Y. tiles being brought from some 
chamber itt the Castle. It ^yiU be observed that: the painter has* 
sought to obtain variety by lieaving in some instances the device ia 
reserve, but findijag the blue then too predominant, he has intro~ 
duced passages of ornaajentin white on the ground (see figs. 79, 80). 
Fig. 81 represents, a recently discovered fragment of a tUe which 
is iuaportant fromt hearing a portion of the impresa, the radiasnt 
crown, of Pope Ale^and^ YI,. (1192-1502) ; the fragment, aJong 
with other- objeota of interest found in the Castle, is now preserved 
ija the. Museum of St. Angelo. That Alexander VI. made larga 
addjijoos to the monumejjt is well, known, but the papal apartmeata 
have eitiier been tsansf ormed, or destroyed ; of those referred to by 
Yasari as decollated by Pinturiccbio> with, portraits of the family 
and. frieiKls of the Pop« none is in existence, henoe the interest 
attaching to what probably formed a portion of one of their 

An interval of twenty years or more sejiarates the Borgia tiles 
from the one bearing the arms of Leo X, (1513-^21), of which an 


illustration is given because although belonging to the XVIth 
century the art is that of a preceding age. The remsirk made by 
Macaulay respecting Italian painting holds good when applied to 
its cetamic art : "The first fruits which are reaped under a bad 
system often spring from seed sown under a good one. Thus it 
was with the age of Raphael." So the refined and delicate morsel 
of Delia Robbia ware (fig. 82), designed possibly under the direc- 
tion of Raphael himself, is entirely in the spirit of the quattrocento. 
The inference that the ornamental motive of the tile was furnished 
by Raphael is suggested by Vasari's statements, in the Lives of 
Luca della Robbia and Raphael Sanzio, that Luca, the nephew of 
Luca della Robbia, constructed the pavements of the Loggia at 
the Vatican und.^r the direction of Raphael, representing upon 
thom the arms and imprese of Leo X. It is therefore not un- 
likely that some of the same would be used for the pavement of 
this chapel : Vasari states the tiles were made at Florence. The 
British Museum possesses two examples of the tiles having the 
ornament filled in with pale lustre colour, they have no analogies 
■with known Gabbio or Deruta work ; hence Luca, if they actually 
came from his bottega, had learnt the lustre secret — a potential 
fact which opens up a fascinating subject for enquiry. 

The original pavements of the Appartamonto Borgia have long 
since disappeared ; fortunately, however, when it wiis determined 
a few years ago to repave the chambers Prof. Tesorone, under 
whose direction the work was carried out, succeeded in finding 
some few of the tiles in a storeroom at the Vatican. The tiles 
appear to be of two kinds — on one the painted ornament is in the 
usual Italian manner, painted on the flat ; on the other it is in 
relief, after the Spanish fashion for wall-tiles. Illustrations of 
those latter are given by Prof. Tesorone in an Italian artistic 
journal *. Since the Pope was Spanish, his family belonging to 
Valencia, the relief tiles will probably have come from Spain. 

* See Tesohqne : Arte Itiiliana, Anno vii. No. 4, 1898, p. 29. 


As to the others (figs. 83-87), the writer can learn of no docu- 
ments indicating the place where they were made. Wheresoever 
the locality, the art there practised must have displayed a marked 
Oriental influpncc; The painter was apparently unfamiliar with 
Italian heraldry, as he has quartered the Pope's imprese, the radiant 
crown and the flames : his arms were for one half the field a hull, 
for the other three hars. As to the date of the tiles, the frescos 
by Pinturicchio in the Appartamento were finished in 1494 *; it 
may be, therefore, supposed that the tiles would be laid down at 
about the same time. Fig. 88 represents a tile from the Library 
of the Duomo at Siena, the walls of that famous hall also having 
been painted by Pinturicchio, the commission being given him 
by Pope Pius III. (1503). In this instance also the year of 
the completion of the frescos, 1507, may be taken as the date of 
the pavement. Considering there was a flourishing ceramic art 
at this time at Siena, it is probable the tiles were made there. 
The original pavement was restored in the m.iddle of the last 
century, when the form of the tiles was changed to that of a 
rhombus, retaining the design of the border, but placing only one 
large crescent in the centre; the alteration was a saving of labour, 
but the old design was spoilt. 

The interest taken in niaiolica by the beautiful and famous 
Isabella d'Este is known to all readers of artistic literature relating 
to her period, and they will recognize the tiles represented in 
figs. 89, 90 as belonging to the cortile in her ajKirtments at the 
Castello Vecchio, Mantua. It will be remembered that she is 
recorded to have given commissions to t^ie potters of several cities, 
a letter to the Duke, her husband, from his brother Giovanni 
Gonzaga at Pesaro, dated March 24, 1494, possibly refers to these 
identical tiles. " A Pesaro done guam primum fui gionto heri 
mandai per il figulo che fa la saligata de V. S. et uolsi uedere li 
quadretti che mi paruero belissimi et digni come potera etiam 

« See Cbowe and Cavalcaselle : op. cit. 1860, vol. iii. p. 264. 


uedere quella perche il naastro me ba proraessa ualerli mandaro fia 
a sei gioraii"*. From a second letter from Pesaro, writit^n ^7 
Silvester de la Calsaidta, it appears that the tiles were di&patohed 
in thirte«i oases on Jviae 1 of the same year, which mary well be 
aocepted as a probable date Sot the pavement. An illuatritiaR of 
a panel of these tiles fcom the ooUeotion o{ Madame Audrd was 
given by the late Charles Yriarte in one of tlw series of articles 
by him on Isabella and ^e artistaof her i]ime«inith0 'jgiaaette des 
Beanx-Arts 't- A notice of the Milan examples, irom the pen (rf 
Dott. Cav. Griulio Carotfci, will be found to the '/Eoliettino deUa 
Goasultadel Mnseo Aroheologiea in. Milan/ 1895, p. 28. 

It vioold have been gratifying to have terminated our jUnstra- 
Mons with some examples wbeueof both the idate and provenance 
oould he asserted withoot question.. Failing this it ia a satisfaetion 
to have assurance on one of these points as to ' the. fine tiles on 
figs, 91-93. Xhe iusepiption on the first— " 1513 a di 20,.."— 
leaves, nothing to be desired, except the mostb. Respecting the 
place whenee iihe tiles came or where they were made> the writer 
knows nothittg. As in a former mstance, it may be said the date 
is that of the Xyith century, but the aj-t is the art of the XVth, 
and it is because they recall memories ot" that tinaethey apeinoluded 
JHi the present series*. 

Note. — As the enamel ground of the tiles represented' in the 
following illustrations is white, the fact will not be stated in 
the separate descriptive statements. Except when 
mentioned, the outlines throughout are in blue, sometimes ap- 
proachiiig a blue-black. In the case of several tiles belonging to 
a single ])avement the sizes of the first only are given. It is also 
said, once for all, that the tiles are maiolica. But respecting the 
Mantuan tiles (figs. 89 & 90), Prof. G. Tesorone is of opinion they 
are mezza maiolica (see the Bollettino della consulta del Museo 
Archeologico in Milano, 1895, p. 28). 

* A. Bautolotti : AicHv. Stor. Lombftrdo, vol. li. Anno xvi. I889,.p. 816. 
t Yeiaktk : Gazettci des Beaux-Arts, vol. xiii. 1895, p. 891, 


Fig. 2.— tile. The first letter in the name of the Virgin. 

Caxaceiolo Chapel, Naples. 

Fig. 3. — TILE. All in blue except the wing, which ia green. From the 
Caracciolo Chapel. Technical Museum, Naples. 



Fig. 4.-TILE. From the Caraeciolo phapel. British Museum. 

Fig. 5. — TILE, From the Oaraccislo Chapel. 

Technical Museum, Naples. 

Fio, 6— TILE. From the Oarwcielo Ghapel. Ku^ee du LouTVS, 

Fia. 7.— TILE. From the Caracciolo Chapel. British Miisennj. 

fio. 8,--TILE. 

Caraf ciolb Chapel, Naples. 

Fig. 9. — From a fresco of the Aarurciation, by a follower of Giotto, in the 
Church of San Oiovanni a Carbonara, Naples, XJVth rentiiiy. The 
tiles are here represented twice the relative si^e of those in the fresco. 


Fio. 10.— TILE. The colours of the tiles in the Mazzatosta Chapel are 
dark and pale blue, manganese, green, and yellow, the blue predom- 
inating. The size of the square tiles is 96 mm., the height of the 
hexagonal ones 20 cm. S. Kensington Museum possesses forty-two of 
these tiles, the British Museum has two, Mazzatosta ChapeL Church 
of Sta. Maria della Verity, Viterbo. British Muaevun. 


Fig. 11.— tile. From the M»z«atOBta Chapel. Britisli Museum. 


Fia. 12.— TILE. 

Mazzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


Fig. 13.— tile. 

lYiazzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


Frff. 14.— TILE. 

Blazxatosta Chapel, Vi'terbo. 


Fig. 16.— tile. 

MaEzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


FlQ, 16.— TILE. 

Mazzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


Fig. 17.— tile. 

Maszatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


FiGt. 18.— TILE. 

Mazzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


Jig. 19.— tile. 

Mazzatosta Chapel, Viterbo. 


Fig. 20. — Five tiles containing the arms of the Mazzatosta Family. Tho 
enamel is nearly worn away. Now in position at the chapel. 



Fig. 21. — TILE. From the Mazzatosta Chapel. 

South Kensington Museum. 


Fig. 22.— tile. From the Mazzatosta Chapel. 

South Kensington Museum. 


Fig. 23,— TILE. Prom the 


South Kensington Musexim, 



EiG, 24,— TILE. From the Mazzatosta Chapel. 

South Kensington Museum. 


Fia. 25. — TILE. The size of these tiles is 20 ctn. square, the thickness 
65 mm. The shading of the fiesh is faintly indicated in all instances in 
blue. From the Monastery of S. Paolo, Parma. 

Farma Museum^ 


Fig. 26. — TILE. In this instance the ornamental background is kept 
within a line at a short distance from the hust ; the method is not 
always followed. From the Monastery of S. Paolo, Parma. 

South Kensington Musevtm. 


Fig. 27.— TILE. The Judgment of Paris. From the Monastery of 
S- Piolo. Parma Museum. 


Fia. 28.— TILE. Pjramus and TMsbe. From the Monastery of 8. Paolo. 

Parma Museum. 


Fig. 29.— tile. Purity. Fitim the Monastery of S. Paolo. 

Farina Huseuin. 


Fig. 30.— tile. From the Monastery of S. Paolo. Parma Museum. 


Fig. 31.— tile. From the Monaatery of S. Paolo, 

Parma Museum. 

Fig. 32.— tile. From the Monastery of S. Paolo. Parma Museum. 


Fig. 33. — TILE. (Compare with the animal drawing in the Grotta 0am- 
pana tomb, Veil.) From the Monastery of S. Paolo. 

Parma Blusemn. 


Fig 34 —TILE. From the Monastery of S. Paolo, Parma. 

•^^^' -^ • British Museum. 


Fla, So. — TILES. From Sta. Maria del Popolo, Home. The first tfle in 
deep blue, oraiig;e, and dark green; the second in blue, manganese, 
orange, and green; the third green with orange acoma. The size 
21 cm. by 95 mm. Delia Rovere Cliai>el, Home. 


Fig. 36. — TILES. The first, blue, green, and orange ; the second (the 
royal arms of Aragon, Naples), hlack and yellow ; the third, blue ground, 
green, and acorns yellow, Delia Rovere Chapel, Borne. 



Fig. 37. — TILES. From tlie Ohapel nf Cardinal Brancacoio in the Church 
of S. Angelo a Nido, Naples. The square tile 10 cm., the hexagonals 
20 cm. high. Technical Museum, Naples. 


Fig. 38.— tiles. From the Cappella dei Martiri in the Church of S. 
Caterina a Formiello, Naples, The square tile 105 mm., the hexagonals 
21 cm. high; Technical Musettm, Maples. 


Fib. SD.—TILES. From the Poderico Ohapel in the Church of S. Lorenzo 

■' Maggi'ore, Naples. The square tiW 105 mm., the hexagonals 21 cm. 

high. Technical museum, Naples. 


jvq 4q TILES. From the dei Petra Chapel in the Church of S. Pietro 

•'a Maiella, Naples. The square tile 95 mm., the hexagonals 20 cm. high. 
' "^ Technical Mviseum, Naples. 


Fig. 41. — TILE. From the S. Sebastian Chapel at San Petronio, Boloma. 
Ground and border dark blue ; wreath and ornament in orange ; shading 
of face and pearls light blue. All the tiles 165 mm. high. 

S. Sebastian Ohapel, Bologpa. 


Fig. 42. — TILE. Scroll, blue, lake, and orange; hare shaded in pale blue, 
foreground, orange ; circular band green and orange. 

S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


Fia. 43.— TIL'S. Snail shaded in pal^ blue pn orange ground ; circular 
band, blue and orange ;" floral ornament^ blue with orange eyes. 

S, Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


Fig. 44. — TILE. Bird, dragon, and cherubs shaded in pale blue ; centre 
ground blUe, outside orange, between the two green. 

S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


Fig. 45.— tile. Ground of centre, Uue, inside circle orange, hexagon 
blue, outside ground orange ; letters orange ; banderole and wavy border 
shaded in pale blue, spots, green. S. Sebastian Chapel, Bdlogna. 


p,«.46.-TILE Ground da., blue, pale gaH -.^6^^ B^'^- 
shaded in pale blue. 


Fig. 47. — TILE. Dark ground blue ; chevron in border, orange ; centre 
orange, circle green, hexagon, orange and green ; interlacing bands and 
pearls shaded in pale blue. S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


Fig. 48. — TILE. Dark p-ound, blue, pale ground, orange; interlacing 
bands and pearls shaded in pale blue. 

S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


■MM^iiiM m mii^aMmmsii^mmsa 

Fig. 49.— TILE. The upright of altar-steps. The darks are blue, shading 
in pale blue ; centres of rosettes orange, then blue, orange, and green ; 
touches of orange and green in flowers. 17 cm; high, 

S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 


Ti'ia. 50. — TILE. Dark parts, blue, shaded in light blue j conea orange, a 
line of green below ; centres of rosettes, orange, outer circle green. 

S. Sebastian Chapel, Bologna. 



Fia. 51. — TILE. Dark and light blue, spot orange. All this series 9 cm. 
square. Sta.. Slaria della Feste, Viterbo. 

Fia. 52. — TILE. Dark blue, orange centre. 

Sta. Maria della Peste, Viterbo. 


Fig. 53. — TILE. Blue, orange and green in centre. 

Sta. Slaxia della Feste, Viterbo. 

Fig. 54. — TILE. Blue, orange touchea in the imbrications. 

Sta. Maria della Paste, Viterbo. 


Fig. 65.— tile. Blue, orange ancl green dieas. 

Sta. Karia della Teste, Viteibo. 

Fig. 56,— tile. Blue and orange. Sta. Maria d«Ua Peste, Viterbo. 


Fig. 57. — TILE. Dark blue, orange and green. 

Sta. Ma^ria della Peste, Vitorbo. 

■"•1' i..-;r"^Ti-jrgiaEK *w* ' ~i.;;.- ■ ^ ■ ^i^r oa^ 

Fig. 68.— TILE. Dark blue. Sta, Maria della Peste, Viterbo. 


Ra. 69. — TILE. Dark and pale blue. 9 cm. square. 

S. Benedetto, Perugia. 


Fig. 60. — TILE. Dark and pale blue, the four small leaves green. 95 mm. 
square. One of the tiles is in the British Museum. 

S. Bernardino, Perugia. 


Fia. 61.— SIX TILES. Dark and pale blue and green. Each tile 16 cm. 
high. University Museum, Perugia. 


Fig. 62. — TILE, The ornament warm ochre colour. Sometimes the orna- 
ment has passages of blue. 97 mm. sqxiare. One of the tiles is in the 
British Museum. Miaseum, Deruta. 


Fig. 63. — TILE. Ornament thickly painted in brown manganese. 10 cm. 
square. Unknown provenance. Henry Wallis. 


Fi&. 64. — TILE. Outline, bordet, and spots in manganese ; bandelet and 
■wings, blue ; cloud at foot, green. 95 mm. square, 2 cm. thick. Sup- 
posed to have come from Perugia. Henry WaUis. 


Fis. 65. — TILE. Outlined in manganese, triangles painted in manganese 
and green, green touches in spaces of interlacing band. 

S. Francesco, Bologna. 


Fl&. 66. — TILE, The colour Rcheme of this series is composed of dark and 
pale blue, green, yellow, and orange ; the outlines are iu blue. The size 
is 1-j cm. square. Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fia. 67.— TILE. 

Civic Museum, Tiuin. 


Fig. 68.— tile. 

Civio IMCuseum, Turin. 


Fig. 69.— tile. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fig. 70.— tile. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fia. 71.— TILE, 

Civip Museum, Turin. 


Fio. 72.— TILE. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 



Fig. 73.-TILE. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


¥i6. 74.— TILE. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fig. 75;— tile. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fia. 76.— TILE. 

Civic Museum, Turin. 


Fig. 77.— TILE. Dark blue. 16 cm. square. 

Castle of St, Angelo, Rome. 






^t^Sf^ 1 


Fm. 78.— TILE. Blue, mansanese, and pale yellow. 

Castle of St. Angelo, Rome. 


Fig. 79.— half TILE. Blue. Castle of St. Angelo, Rome. 

Fig. 80.— half TILE. Blue. 

Oa.stle of St. Angelo, Rome. 


Fig. 81.— PART OF TILE. Blue. H. 75 mm. 

Musemn of Castle of St, Angelo, Kome. 


Fig 82— tile. Outline of ornament in relief. The highest i)aHa coMt- 

■ blue, the rest violet manganese; a touch of manganese above shield; 

touches of blue on handles of keys and uniting cor^ lltrfo '^'R^me 

Chapel of Leo X., Castle of St. Angelo, Rome. 


Fig. 83. — TILE. Blue (radiant crowns yellow, flames maDganese). 13 cm. 
square. From the Appartamento Borgia. British Museum. 


Fia, 84. — TILE. Blue, flowers purple. Appartamento Borgia, or perhaps 
a chamber in the Vatican of the time of Pope Innocent VIII. (1484- 
1492). See Ehblb and Stevenson, Glj Aifreschi del Pinturicchio 
neir AppOTtamento Borgia, 1897, p. 40. British Museiun. 


Fro. 85. — TILE. Blue. 6 cm. square. Appartamento Borgia. 

British Museum. 

Fi0. 86. TILE. Blue. 6 cm. square. Appartamento Borgia. 

British Museum. 


Fig. 87.— tile. Blue. 9 cm. square. 

Awartamento Borgia. 

Britisli Museum. 


Fia. 88. — TILE. "Yellow crescent on blue ground ; borders on yellow 
ground, spots red (Armenian Bole). Each side 15 cm. From the library 
of the Duomo, Siena. Henry WalUs 


Fig. 89.— 'I'lLte. Eaglea, deep blue ; liona, liglit Mwe on Wick j bMs, orange 
and black ; cross, deep manganese, 23 cm, square, 45 mm. thick. Re- 
verse, two deep circle!) and five holes cut into the body. From Mantua. 

Civic Museum, Milan. 


Fig. 90. — FOUR TILES. (1) Oranire rays, manganese ground ; grass, 
green. (2) RayB in pale manganese and orange. (3) Outlined in blue 
(the outlines throughout are blue). (4) Green gi-ound, orange bandelet. 
Each the game size as Fig. 89. From Mantua. 

Civic Museum, Milan. 


Fig. 91.— PORTION Off TILE. Omamentin 
flowers oTtmge. H. 16 cm. 

blue, central petal of 
Bxitlsli Museum. 


Flo. 92.— PORTION OF TILE. Ornament in pale blue, stag orange, 
touches of green and orange is ornament. British Museum. 


Fig. 93.— PORTION OF TILE. Paje blue ornament with touches ot 
green and orange ; stag orange. British Slusetun. 


NOTE. — This volume was already printed when the writer 
happened to mention the subject of the Appartamento Borgia tiles 
to Mr. G. J. de Osma, who pointed out that tiles like those in 
figs. 85 & 86 had been made in Spain, and showing an illustra- 
tion of one of them which he intended giving in his forthcoming 
work on Spanish ceramic art. The similarity was so obvious as 
to leave no doubt of the Spanish origin of the Vatican tiles, unless 
the latter were Italian copies. It has been stated at page xxiv of 
the Introduction that some of the pavements in the Appartamento 
Borgia were in Spanish relief tiles ; it is hence not improbable 
that painted tiles from the same source might also have been used 
there. Mr. de Osma suggested that these small tiles, figs. 85 & 
86, might originally have fitted into the corners of the large tile, 
fig. 84, following a method sometimes practised in Spanish tile