TALAVERA DE LA REINA
On 2 June 1600, the Duke of Lerma, Philip II’s prime minister, enacted a pragmatic sanction banning the manufacture and use of gold and silver wares. This decree boosted the production and consumption of ceramics, especially those made in Talavera de la Reina, which was already under royal protection.
Talavera was the second pottery centre in Spain for the production of polychrome ware. At first it was decorated with Italian-Flemish Renaissance subjects – grotesques, profile busts, figures of swordsmen – and later with hunting scenes, fights between animals, cupids and landscapes copied from engravings. It was these landscapes that established the reputation of the Talavera potteries.
The 18th-century blue decoration bears some resemblance to that of Savona (Italy) and to original Alcora ornamental motifs, which had been introduced there by the artist José Causada before he left the factory and set up a workshop in Talavera.
PUENTE DEL ARZOBISPO
Rooster’s tails, pines, small birds and concentric bands are typical decorative motifs on Puente pottery, which was characterised by a beige glaze and simplified ornament.
BUEN RETIRO royal porcelain factory
The king imported clay, tools and artists from the Capodimonte (Naples) factory, which he had founded in 1743.
First period (1760-1783). Manufacture of objects, figures and tableware in Rococo and Neoclassical styles, very close to Capodimonte work, designed for the royal palaces and as gifts to diplomats. Decoration of the porcelain cabinets in the royal palaces of Aranjuez and Madrid.
Second period (1783-1803). Constant experimentation with Spanish clays; the production of ornamental vases, centrepieces and clocks; the decoration of the porcelain room of the Casa del Principe at El Escorial.
Third period (1803-1808). Bartolomé Sureda, director of the factory, invented a new formula for porcelain, with which he produced a wide range of high-quality sculptures in biscuit porcelain. Manufacture and sale of fine tableware based on Sèvres models. The factory, which was turned into an arsenal during the Peninsula War, was sacked in 1812 and burned down by the British army.