The Pottery collections

The second part of the exhibition in the Palazzo Tursi is dedicated to collections related to the history of the city and, by extension, of the old Republic of Genoa, of which it was somehow regarded as the heir – moreso than the Kingdom of Sardinia, to which it had been annexed.
Among these collections, a conspicuous number of rooms is dedicated to Ligurian ceramics, ordered in two distinct parts: one consisting of canteen pottery, and the other of pharmaceutical vessels.
Overall, the collection guides visitors through the entire history of an artistic production that played a key role, not only within the old Republic but also in the history of western ceramics. The production of this kind of majolica lasted uninterruptedly from the 16th to the 18th century and was one of the most important productive sectors of the old Republic.
In Liguria, ceramics were produced in manufactures located in Genoa and, especially, in Albisola and Savona; in the latter two, the production lasted over time and still continues, particularly in Albisola. The pottery produced between the 16th-17th century was generally painted blue on a white background, while 18th-century pottery was more colourful.
Among the manifold production of tableware, whose shapes
riprendono volutamente quelle delle argenterie da tavola, particolarmente significativo, anche per la relativa rarità, è il nucleo di pezzi realizzati da Giacomo Boselli, il più noto dei ceramisti savonesi del XVIII secolo, nei quali è spesso ripreso il gusto tardo rococò o quello per la cineseria propri della sua epoca.
The section dedicated to pharmacy kits brings together pieces from the two old hospitals in Genoa, the Pammatone and the Incurabili, both established in the 15th century in the Piccapietra area, which was then fully transformed from the urban point of view in the 20th century. The large number of surviving pieces represents one of the most important collections of
Italian pharmaceutical art; for this reason, the pieces have been arranged in the showcases (albeit modern) in such a way as to evoke the overall appearance that these vessels must have had back then on the original wooden shelves.
As part of this extraordinary collection of pottery, the protagonists are the so-called stagnoni, large stained vessels in Baroque style, decorated with mythological or religious subjects recalling the other paintings and frescoes that adorned the rooms of the great Genoese palaces of the time.
In addition, some other pieces related to the two pharmacies or, more generally, to the hospital activities of the time are also featured in these rooms.