Tin Glazed earthenware.
Pair of vases belonging to a totally innovative series within the 18th century Talavera: the traditional polychrome is left behind to embrace the new modern blue and white style, the result of the oriental influence that comes through France and Delft. On the other hand, it would be the Spanish assimilation of the Italian "istoriato", that is, pieces decorated with pictorial scenes, often figurative, brushstrokes in great detail. However, it usually presents typically Spanish themes, such as hunting, horse and bull scenes. Furthermore, as we see here, the motifs are inscribed between two tall plant motifs (here trees), following a traditional Talavera composition.
In one of them we see a gentleman and a lady, both dressed in the fashion of the time, in landscape backgrounds developed in depth based on elements that are happening in the background, marking the different planes. In the other a hunting theme is represented, with a man on horseback armed with a spear and, on the back, a wild boar harassed by dogs, worked with great expressiveness and attention to detail, against a landscape background in which architectures can be guessed .
From the early seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century, until the creation of the Buen Retiro factory in 1756, Talavera was the great Spanish ceramic manufactory. However, in 1726 Alcora was founded, which brings modern formulas and decorations, while Talavera remains within a still baroque style, without going into the rococo of Alcora.
Talavera's blue “istoriato” series was much more modern than its polychrome equivalent, reflecting the advancement of taste and leaving behind the color schemes of the past. Regarding its theme, it represents scenes of hunting, bullfighters on horseback, animal fighting, etc., reflecting the activities of the contemporary Spanish nobility, which is the main client for these pieces. Although new themes such as children's representations would appear already in the 18th century, the traditional Talavera scenography will always be maintained, with the central motif flanked by two vertical plant elements, on a simple landscape floor and against a sketched background, with some bushes indicating the ground and very simple birds in the sky. As in previous times, in Talavera a notable difference in quality will continue, given that it is still not a single manufacture, but rather small workshops located in the same town. There were first-class craftsmen who directly traced engravings, as is possibly the case with these two daggerboards, given the high quality of their motifs. Other decorators, however, directly copied these better quality pieces.
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