The places of ceramics in Faenza

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The production of ceramics in this city began immediately after the year 1000, linked above all to the workshops that made simple artefacts for domestic use.

However, it was from the end of the 1400s to the beginning of the 1500s that local artisans began to refine the technique, introducing Renaissance motifs such as “historiated” into the decorations to arrive at a new genre of ceramics in the second half of the 16th century: the Whites of Faenza.

The fame of these works was such that Faenza became the city of ceramics, and majolica, or enamelled faience, took the name of faïence throughout Europe from the beginning of the seventeenth century, in the French style.

Today, embarking on an itinerary through local ceramics therefore offers a compelling experience capable of blending craftsmanship, fascinating history and a unique perspective on local culture.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - International Museum of Ceramics (MIC) Faenza

    The itinerary starts with a visit to the International Museum of Ceramics (MIC), one of the most important ceramic art museums in the world. 

    Founded in 1908 by Gaetano Ballardini, this institution has a heritage of over 60 thousand works of ancient and contemporary nature, coming from all over the world, alongside a rich section dedicated to Renaissance Faenza ceramics.

    The MIC is a true cultural center of reference for ceramics: it hosts a library, photographic and documentary archives, a restoration laboratory, an educational laboratory "Playing with ceramics", founded by Bruno Munari; but it also organizes events related to artistic ceramics such as the Faenza Prize Biennial Competition and coordinates Argillà Italia, an exhibition and market of international artistic craftsmanship.

  • Second stop - Carlo Zauli Museum Faenza

    The journey into the fascinating world of ceramics continues inside the Carlo Zauli Museum, founded in 2002 in the historic laboratory of the artist from Faenza to whom the museum itself is dedicated.

    The visit itinerary develops through the historic rooms of the studio-workshop: from the clay cellar, to the enamel room, from the kiln room to the large relief room where a lump of earth becomes a sculpture.

    In recent years the museum, in addition to hosting the permanent collection, has become a point of reference for the dissemination and production of contemporary art thanks to various avant-garde cultural projects.

  • Third stop - Guerrino Tramonti Museum Faenza

    The tour continues with a visit to the Guerrino Tramonti Museum housed inside the house-workshop where the artist lived with his family from 1958 to 1992, the year of his death.

    Born as a sculptor, Guerrino Tramonti soon also dedicated himself to ceramics and painting. In the museum rooms this expressive variety, especially from a technical point of view, is well displayed. 

    In fact, around 390 works can be admired with an immense variety of shapes and colours, accompanied by a sublime expressive sensitivity.

    Apart from a few pieces from commercial production, the collection is made up of exquisitely artistic creations starting from the terracotta sculptures of the 1930s and 1940s, to the paintings of the artist’s Venetian period (1944-47), to his polychrome glazed ceramic works.

    Continuing along the exhibition itinerary you can admire his works inspired by the materials and techniques of Chinese, Korean and Japanese ceramics, and the famous decorative discs, made with the thick glazing technique 'invented' by the artist in 1953, when he was directing the Castelli School of Art. At the end of the route there are oil paintings, works created by Tramonti between the end of the 1960s and 1992. 

    The visit is completed by the reconstruction of the artist's studio with his work tools and his last unfinished painting on his easel.

  • Fourth stop - Leandro Lega Museum Faenza

    Faenza confirms itself as a city rich in artistic treasures. Another place to visit, for example, is the Leandro Lega Museum. In its spaces the works of this artist who passed away in 2002 are exhibited, as well as his historic workshop, an archive and a library.

    Furthermore, conferences, exhibitions and meetings are organized as moments of study, reflection and dialogue to promote knowledge of the name and figure of Leandro Lega.

  • Fifth stop - Riccardo Gatti Museum Faenza

    We continue on our journey to reach the Riccardo Gatti Museum, inaugurated in 1998 in the historic premises of the factory where it is possible to admire unique pieces from a retrospective collection of ceramic works created by Riccardo Gatti starting from 1908.

    The works offer a rich testimony to the collaborative relationships that the artist established with the Futurist movement, which he personally joined. 

    The first "reflection" works created between the end of the 1920s and the early 1930s of the last century are preserved in the museum's showcases.

  • Sixth stop - Ceramic workshops Faenza

    For those who wish to experience the creative process first-hand, numerous workshops allow visitors to shape clay with their own hands. 

    The historic center of Faenza is full of artisan ceramic workshops. There are around sixty of them located along the narrow alleys of the historic center and recognizable by an oval ceramic plaque placed outside.

    Entering these places and getting to know the master ceramists is the best way to understand the traditional and modern techniques of manufacturing Faenza majolica. Here, you will have the opportunity to attend hands-on demonstrations and interact with artisans who jealously preserve the savoir-faire passed down through generations, but also purchase authentic works of art directly from the artists.

Last update 30/11/2023

For more information

Editorial board Terre di Faenza

Information offices

IAT Faenza
Voltone delle Molinella, 2 - Faenza (RA)
+ 39 0546 25231 + 39 0546 25231 Opening: all year round

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