The art of maiolica

One of the most ancient art forms of Caltagirone is the production of ceramics, a thousand-year-old history of wisdom and tradition. The discoveries of archaeologist Paolo Orsi prove that the production of maiolica predates the Islamic rule. museo della ceramicaIn fact, it was already popular in the territory before the arrival of the Arabs, who gave a renewed boost to production thanks to a new technique – glazing – that made the pottery more waterproof and resistant.
Under the Spanish rule of Alfonso of Aragon, the pottery trade intensified even more thanks to his tax privileges, which allowed workers to increase their production and sales throughout the island.
With the earthquake of 1693 many of the maiolica floors were destroyed and the artisans’ activity was interrupted. Some of the most valuable fragments are kept in the Regional Museum of Ceramics .
After the earthquake an attempt was made to make trade flourish again. The decorative motifs were renewed by expanding the designs on the entire floor so that they were no longer on a single maiolica tile.
ceramiche in ordine di descrizione per periodo
Production was interrupted in the 1800s due to the use of cement and the centuries-old activity of ceramists ended, for a certain period, when the last masters disappeared in the 1930s.
The tradition, which seemed destined to be lost, was saved by Don Luigi Sturzo who founded the Istituto d’Arte della Ceramica (Institute of Ceramic Art) in 1918, giving renewed impetus to the art of maiolica. One of the best-known examples throughout history of the maiolica process is the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte (Staircase of St. Mary of the Mountain).

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giuliano ai Crociferi

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The church and the college

Verticality and dynamism of the façade of the Church of San Carlo

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The Church of St. Francis

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

City and nature

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The neo-Gothic seminary chapel: symbols, light and space

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

One city, three sites

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The eagle-shaped city

St. Agatha and the candelore

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

The interior and works of art

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

Piazza Duomo, the elephant fountain, the heart of the city

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

Luminous sacred spaces

Religious architecture

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Carlo and the former Jesuit college

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The Palazzo dei due mori

Barresi-Branciforte: the lords of the fiefdom and the modernisation of the town

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

The church of San Nicolò l’Arena: the majesty of an unfinished beauty

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The senses tell the story of the Sanctuary Church of Santa Maria della Stella

A stone garden

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Maria del Monte

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

Views denied, views conquered: the power of the devout Benedictines

The Staircase of Angels

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and the Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

The Benedictines’ library

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Church of Madonna della Stella

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The Church of St. Paul

The articulated interior spaces

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

Art in the cathedral

The freedom of worship and the Catholic Church’s role in the diffusion of Baroque

The interior of the church: space and colour

The city within the city

The works in the church

Geometry and wonder in civic architecture in the Baroque of the Val di Noto

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The Badia di Sant’Agata (St. Agatha’s Abbey)

The Franciscan convent

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The new roads of the city

The palace, the town, the church

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

A story of rebirth

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The two churches

The city palace

The art of maiolica

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

The church and the monastery

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Badia di Sant’Agata

The expansion of space and changing reality

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

A casket of precious works

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Church of St. Benedict

A heritage of votive works

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo