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Unique porcelains from the 300-year production of the Ginori factory, which was founded in 1737 and was one of the pioneers of porcelain production in Italy, were exhibited in Milan. The exhibition emphasized the close ties between art and industry.


Although porcelain was produced in China in the 5th century, Europe's enthusiasm for producing porcelain was realized only in the 18th century with Meissen in Germany. Johann Friedrich Böttger, a Saxonian alchemist in pursuit of the philosopher's stone, made a centuries-old dream of Europeans come true. Undoubtedly, if it were not for the triggering effect of Chinese porcelain, Europe would not have discovered porcelain. The first attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain in Europe was the production of soft Medici porcelain. Work was carried out to produce porcelain between 1575-87 in the factory established in Florence with the passion of the Medici family, who had a large porcelain collection. Of course, Medici porcelain was a product fired at 1000-1100 degrees Celsius and contained very small amounts of kaolin, the basic raw material of Chinese porcelain. Clay from Vicenza containing some kaolin was used. In other words, it was not 'real' porcelain, but it was a product that looked like it.

After the end of the Medici initiative in Florence, there was no development in porcelain production in Italy for 150 years, until the scientifically inclined Marquis Carlo Ginori started to conduct experimental studies on this subject in his palace in Florence... He hired painter Karl Wendelin Anreiter von Zirnfeld and baker master Giorgio delle Torri who worked  with Claudius du Paquier in the Vienna factory, and obtained information about glaze and color from Giovanni Vezzi, and officially established his factory in Doccia in 1737. Ginori's most important concern was obtaining quality kaolin. The kaolin he sourced locally was far from the pure white Saxony clay used in Meissen. An attempt was made to compensate for this deprivation with lively designs and imagination.

The exhibition titled "White Gold Three Centuries of Ginori Porcelain", which reveals the 300-year history of Ginori, which continues its production today, was shown at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan between 25 October 2023 and 19 February 2024. The exhibition, curated by Rita Balleri, Oliva Rucellai and Federica Manoli, included 60 pieces from various museums and private collections.

The exhibition began with elegant porcelain sculptures and porcelain reproductions of masterpieces kept in the Medici collections, a concrete evidence of interest in antiquity. Reflecting an eclectic and exotic taste that subsequently permeated Ginori's production, the products demonstrated artistic versatility and ability to adapt to the trends of the time. It ended with masterpieces of the 19th century, including the table service designed by Gaetano Lodi for Khedive Ismail Pasha. This section was also a tribute to the world-famous Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti (1891-1979) on the centenary of the first International Decorative Arts Biennale Exhibition in Monza.

The Ginori Museum, which preserves the artistic history of the factory, has been closed for a while. Kering Group, which bought the bankrupt Richard-Ginori factory in 2013, did not include the museum in this agreement, and the fate of the inheritance consisting of 10 thousand porcelain, majolica, wax and terracotta was unclear. In 2017, the museum was purchased by the state with the encouragement of the Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini at the time. The last good news came from the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano; the restoration work of the currently closed museum will begin in the first months of this year and will be opened to visitors in 2025.


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