• Lori-Ann Touchette

‘Il classico si fa pop. di scavi, copie e altri pasticci’

‘Il classico si fa pop. di scavi, copie e altri pasticci’ show (12/2018-5/2019) was inspired by the discovery in 2010-15 of the 18th-century workshop of Giovanni Volpato (1735-1803), the inventor of the classica souvenir for the Grand Tour. Born in Bassano del Grappa, Volpato moved to Rome in 1771 where he first founded a school of engraving. Through his connections in the city, he became an important collector and entrepreneur. He excavated with Gavin Hamilton and Thomas Jenkins, restored antiquities and then sold them to King Gustav III of Sweden and the Vatican to name a few.

In 1785, he founded a ceramic factory in via Urbana where he produced souvenirs for the 18th-century Grand Tour. His small-scale copies in “biscuit” (unglazed porcelain) of the masterpieces of antiquity in the public and private collection of the city were previously known primarily from sales catalogues diffused throughout Europe. The recent finds have permitted a series of new attributions to his workshop. His most extensive surviving work, a table centerpiece of 115 pieces, the “Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne”, now in the Museo Civico of Bassano del Grappa was included in the show. The emphasis at the Crypta Balbi was on his working methods particularly with reference to a side production of dinnerware and maiolica. Examples of his “biscuit” statuettes are also displayed in the Cini collection of the Musei Capitolini. #romacittàdellaceramica #romeceramiccity #terracotta #ceramics #giovannivolpato #biscuit #grandtour #cryptabalbi @ Crypta Balbi


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