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Capodimonte Porcelain

History of Capodimonte

Capodimonte is a style of the finest porcelain, hand sculptured and hand painted by artists who have spent several years training and studying at the Capodimonte Institute in Naples. The Artists, having reached the exact standards of the Institute, are then permitted to use the ‘Capodimonte N’ porcelain mark and produce work under their own names in independent studios.

The ‘Golden Age’ of Capodimonte was in Naples between 1743 and 1759. A few years before it began in 1738, the Bourbon King Charles 111 of Naples married Maria Amelia Christine of Saxony, granddaughter of Augustus the Strong of Saxony who founded Meissen, the first porcelain factory in Europe. Charles’s interest in the manufacture of porcelain was inspired by the pieces of Meissen in his wife’s dowry, decorated with the joint arms of Saxony and Naples.

Charles began experimenting production in 1740 in the courtyard of the Royal Palace of Capodimonte and by 1743 a factory had been established in the park beside the palace. He produced tableware, snuff boxes, vases and figurines, all of which were very decorative and colourful. Soon tragic/comic figures were produced such as Columbines and Harlequins whilst other pieces showed religious, mythological and domestic activities, also sculptured musicians, singers, peasants and fishermen, always with a mockingly cynical vein of humour.

Between 1757 and 1759 the famous porcelain room was created for Queen Maria Amelia – now in the Palace of Capodimonte and still containing a splendid collection of porcelain. A year after its completion, Charles succeeded his half-brother as King of Spain and the ‘Golden Age’ of Capodimnote eventually faded.

After a brief revival of the production of porcelain in 1771 by Ferdinand 1V, son of Charles, Capodimonte was again revived at the beginning of the 20th Century. It has steadily gained in popularity since and remains unique and treasured art in the world of fine porcelain to-day.

Although other independent factories attempt to copy the masters, few succeed. The Perfection produced by the Capodimonte artists who make the sculptures and flowers on sale here is a very rare commodity and is verified by the Capodimonte Mark and a certificate of authenticity that comes with every piece.

These creations which express the art of Capodimonte are completely hand crafted and hand painted, however slight imperfections are possible from the Artists and are adding to the product making them unique.

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