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Maiolica has been defined as “Italian tin-glazed earthenware dating from the Renaissance". The name is thought to come from either Majorca, an island on the route for ships that brought ceramic ware to Italy from Spain (hispano-moresque) in the 1400s, or from the Spanish term obra de Malaga that means to describe something as “imported Malagan wares". During the Renaissance, the term Maiolica referred solely to lusterware, including both Italian made and Spanish imports, but eventually the term came to be used when describing ceramics made only in Italy, lustered or not, that were earthenware covered with a tin glaze . The tin glaze produced a brilliant white when fired, giving artists an opaque surface to paint over.


  • "Marvels of Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery of Art" by Jacqueline Marie Musacchio. Bunker Hill Publishing, 2004
  • “A Guide To Looking At Italian Ceramics" by David Harris Cohen and Catherine Hess, J. Paul Getty Museum in association with British Museum Press, 1993