The Kingdom of Maiolica
The geographical position of Deruta and the abundant availability of local clay in the nearby hills encouraged the development of ceramic industry. Since Roman times ceramics have been Deruta’s main source of income. Since 1336 cooperatives have been producing everyday objects made of “Maiolica Arcaica”, vitrified ceramics that have been made on pottery wheels in a single throwing. Deruta ceramics are decorated mainly with geometric and floral motifs in green, copper, and manganese brown .
Deruta goods could be found in popular markets far and wide. Beyond the refined and sophisticated ceramics, the art of glazed earthenware also flourished. The same kilns produced bricks, terracotta, and painted vases. In the 16th century the “Compendiario” style was introduced with its concise and simple outlined images, reliefs, and sinuous edges. Later, the “calligraphic” style, composed of a dense network of foliage with landscapes, hunting scenes and zoomorphic depictions, was introduced as well.
Near Deruta you can visit the sacred site of Madonna dei Bagni. Here you will find an extraordinary collection of ceramic tile votive offerings devoted to the Madonna made by locals artists over the last four centuries.