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Castelli's Ceramics

Updated on August 9, 2010
Castelli and the Mount Camicia in the background.
Castelli and the Mount Camicia in the background.

Under the Mount Camicia (Italian for "shirt"), in the mountainous region of Gran Sasso, a couple of hours from Rome, lies a wonderful village, which has a long history and an impressive artistic tradition. It is the village of Castelli.

The village was already in existence in the X century and is predominately known for its ceramics. The ceramics production became a very important business since the XVI century and it is, still today, one of the village's most important activity, both economically and culturally. The abundance of clay in the soil and the abundance of wood in the forests surrounding the village favored the development of the ceramics as the major economical activity.

Orazio Pompei

Castelli gave birth to two great artists, and many others. Orazio Pompei, who lived in the XVI century, is considered the initiator of the ceramist tradition in Castelli.

Vase with the Ceat of Arms of Farnese.
Vase with the Ceat of Arms of Farnese.
Plate with Woman Holding a Vase with Coat of Arms of Chigi, by Orazio Pompei.
Plate with Woman Holding a Vase with Coat of Arms of Chigi, by Orazio Pompei.
 Vase with Lucrezia, by Orazio Pompei.
Vase with Lucrezia, by Orazio Pompei.

Francesco Antonio Grue

Another important artist is Francesco Antonio Grue who lived in the XVII century.

A plate portraying a war scene, by F. A. Grue.
A plate portraying a war scene, by F. A. Grue.
Plate with Horseman with a Banner, by F. A Grue.
Plate with Horseman with a Banner, by F. A Grue.

The Ceramic Museum and the Art School

In Castelli we find two gems. One is the "Ceramic Museum" hosted by a beautiful Francescan convent. The museum summarizes Castelli's ceramist tradition, its history, evolution, and technological innovation.

The other gem is an Art School bearing the name of the artist Francesco Antonio Grue. The school hosts an international exhibition consisting of contemporary art in the fields of design, ceramics, and sculpture. The school hosts also a giant nativity. The nativity is composed of human-size statues, vaguely inspired by the style of Botero.

The sacred family, a part of Castelli's nativity.
The sacred family, a part of Castelli's nativity.
A sculture by Ivo Sassi (1985), Castelli's Art School.
A sculture by Ivo Sassi (1985), Castelli's Art School.
"Silence" by Won Kim Tai (1994), Castelli's Art School.
"Silence" by Won Kim Tai (1994), Castelli's Art School.

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    • G L Strout profile image

      G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Fabulous article and wonderful photos. Thank you for the beautiful inages.

    • thinkbefore profile image
      Author

      thinkbefore 6 years ago

      Thank you GLStrout.

    • profile image

      stefanaccio 6 years ago

      Very interesting article. I am putting together a website for the exhibitions of the town: http://castelliteramo.wordpress.com

    • profile image

      kails. 5 years ago

      cute

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