At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collections

July 4th, 2018
Sala XVII, Pinacoteca

Following the culmination of the Metal Restoration Laboratory and the Vatican Museums Ceramics Department’s careful restoration work, a precious set of illustrated ceramic plates from the Carpegna Collection can be admired before it soon joins a permanent collection. This special exhibit will open for the summer season on July 4th and will be located in the prestigious Vatican Pinacoteca in Room XVII, which has hosted the prior original initiatives of the Museums at Work expositions.

This “little exhibit,” titled At the Table with the Gods. Illustrated Plates from the Carpegna Collection, is curated by Guido Cornini and is based on a previously successful format, established through The Pope’s Museums. The exposition also serves as a lively workshop for study and research, aiming to communicate and enhance the knowledge and the many daily activities within the Museums. Among the pieces in the collection, are thirty-three out of thirty-four illustrated majolica ceramics, which joined the Decorative Arts Department of the Vatican Museums in 1999 from the old collections of the Apostolic Library.

This set of historically and artistically valuable artifacts were made in the late sixteenth century by the skilled majolica masters of Urbino based on designs by painters from the school of Raphael. Although they are some of the most fascinating seventeenth-century collectibles, they constitute one of the least noted chapters.

Four large thematic groups can be identified in the designs and decorations that characterize the precious set of ceramics. They range from biblically inspired scenes, portraying stories from the Old Testament and the Gospels, to mythological depictions, treating both literary and allegorical topics.

The Carpegna plates collection display is a project sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Carey of the California Chapter