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The “Raphaelesque” style in Deruta

Free and fantastic ornaments such as masks, winged putti, canephoras, marine creatures, imaginary fauna anthologies and weapon trophies make up the varied and refined decoration of Deruta majolica

The result is a decorative motif that has become an emblem of Deruta art, recognized all over the world: the so called “Raphaelesque".

It was introduced in this area in the first half of the 1600s, drawing inspiration from the frescoes realized by Raphael Sanzio in the Vatican Rooms, starting from 1508 until his death, in the year 1520. 

The master from Urbino, in turn, had been inspired for his wonderful work by the so-called "grotesque" decorations, a term coined by the men of art in the fifteenth century to define the decorative systems found on walls and vaults of the Domus Aurea - the Roman emperor Nerone palace - built in Rome between 64 and 68 AD, which marked and influenced, with its discovery, the Renaissance iconography. 
The decorations of the building were defined as "grotesque" precisely because they were found inside the caves of the imperial domus (from the Italian word “grotta” which means “cave”)
We can describe the wonder of Raphael and his collaborator Giovanni from Udine when they explored the Domus aurea, with the words of the historian and art historian Giorgio Vasari: "Both were amazed at the freshness, beauty and goodness of those works, amazed that they had been preserved for so long”. 
Raphael himself fully understood the logic of these decorative systems and thanks to his profound knowledge of the literary and artistic sources of classicism he managed to recreate the ancient without having to resort to a passive imitation.
 Even today, the Deruta production, famous for its orange, blue and yellow colors, tells of that time and of that decorative, so versatile, fresh, "Raphaelesque" style. 

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