museum of maiolica of laterza
Starting from the 17th and throughout the 18th century, while Italy was being overwhelmed by Baroque art, majolica craftsmen in Laterza, by moulding the clay, created items full of fabled figures.
These skilled masters handcrafted big ornamental plates destined to adorn the aristocratic residences; drug jars to be exhibited in pharmacies and grocery stores all over the Kingdom of Naples; cups, amphoras and footed trays meant to enrich the nobles’ banquets and opulent tables.
These products were first white-glazed, then decorated using turquoise paint, like South Italy’s clear sky, but also sunny yellow and orange paint and the green shade of the ravine surrounding Laterza. Their decorative repertoire was full of mythological figures, ladies and knights, battles and hunting scenes, landscapes with strange and grotesque animals, often surrounded by daisies, branches and botanical spirals creating magical scenarios.
MuMa is located inside Laterza’s Palazzo Marchesale (Marquis Palace), an imposing castle built in 1393 and then turned into a residential building over the centuries. Several aristocratic families lived in the palace: most notably, the D’Azzia and the Perez Navarrete families, of Neapolitan and Spanish origin, respectively.
It is quite an exceptional event when a large number of potteries tracked down all around Europe comes back to its original place of production to be preserved and admired inside a museum.
These pieces belong to various periods in time: while those in “compendiario” style date back to the XVI century, others are examples of Laterza’s production in its heyday and date back to the end of the XVIII and the beginning of the XIX century.
In may 2017, MuMa’s art collection has been enriched with new spiritually relevant majolica pieces coming from Mater Domini church in Laterza.
In September 2017, MuMa put on display these precious majolica pieces coming from professor and majolica enthusiast Vincenzo Calabrese’s private collection.
Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed on Mondays