Since the Italians introduced us to Deruta ceramics, we have been lucky enough to see the amazing skill and talent of their masterful artisans. Their intricate designs give an old classical look, which is greatly appreciated even in the modern times. Most of their designs can be seen in plates, which are both used for eating and sometimes as home decorations. Besides being used for serving food, I see it as an excellent décor that adds drama to every room you place it in. Let’s not forget that these items are made to stand the test of time! You can give them to your kids or grandkids as heirloom, surviving the years to come.
For those who wish to buy a number of these hand painted masterpieces, finding a perfect design to match your taste might seem a bit difficult. It might feel overwhelming, as if you want to buy plates in every design. Of course, everything is beautiful! Worry no more because I have rounded up some design collections from some of Italy’s finest hand painted ceramics brands (Deruta Italy and Artistica) for you to choose from.
#1 Raffaellesco Collection
One of the most well-known and continuing Italian maiolica patterns, the classic “Raffaellesco” links its origin back to the 16th century, and the elegant arabesques of Raphael’s famous fresco paintings.
The ritualistic dragon of the plate’s central concept was ostensibly illustrated first by Raphael, a masterful artiste and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. Raffaellesco is an altruistic divine being who gives out good fortune and calm winds to seafaring merchants, hence the blows of air coming from the dragon’s mouth. With the details mostly light colors, these ceramics will look nice against your dark table mantles.
#2 Vecchia Deruta Collection
If you liked Raffaellesco, you should see this collection. Similarly made by painting extraordinaire Raphael, Vecchia deruta (also known as Old Deruta) is a more luxurious and more formal rendition of the famous “Ricco Deruta” impression. With scalloped rim plates, a dominant royal blue trim adds more depth to the design.
#3 Fruttina Collection
If you love how fruits look in dinnerware, the Fruttina collection won’t disappoint. Peaches, leaves and pears spruce up the edges of Fruttina dinnerware. Soft hues of warm green and yellows make a pattern that works for everyday use. It is also fitting for formal occasions so if you happen to have one of these, they will always have a purpose and not just a décor.
#4 Ricco Collection
Deruta’s most prominent design, this is the true original version traces its origins back to the sixteenth century. Hand painted with sophisticated hues like royal blue, yellow gold and emerald green, I advise using these for special occasions. Eating with this dinnerware will make you feel like royalty in every sense of the word.
#5 Giada Collection
The Giada (Jade) pattern features intertwining Acanthus leaves painted in delicate aqua color tones, a pattern that is commonly found in 15th Century Italian Catholic churches and cathedrals.
#6 Celeste Collection
Compared to the other collections, the Celeste collection is the most sophisticated-looking. It takes you back to the Renaissance era with its intricate details. Its rich colors create a vibrant and modern take on the classical designs we usually see in hand painted Deruta dinnerware. I can imagine your dining table coming alive with these pieces!
#7 Orvieto Collection
How about getting a design with a more deep-rooted history? Orvieto is a very ancient and traditional design that began during the Renaissance era in the hill-top town of Orvieto – Italy. Indeed one of Italy’s most distinctive and fascinating cities, Orvieto has a charismatic old-fashioned character. It’s mainly attributable to its renowned Cathedral, a treasure of Gothic architecture that took beyond 100 years to construct. The “Galletto” (Rooster) pattern’s main theme is a squawking rooster that embodies good wishes for blessings, affluence and happiness. Now, tell me you don’t want a piece of that.
#8 Principe Collection
With “Principe” (Prince) as the name of this collection says it all. These uniquely molded dinner plates with heraldic patterns will add truly regal appearance to your tabletop. You will feel like gods while eating with these plates, as they all come with a delicate, yet stylish scrollwork design signifying the masterful retention of a Deruta classic design. The Principe collection was inspired from designs portrayed in exceptional medieval history encyclopedias.
#9 Faenza Garofano Collection
Named after the renowned city of Faenza, The Faenza ‘Garofano’ pattern is a true Italian masterpiece. To give you a gist of its history, Faenza is by cultural tradition defined as City of the Ceramics, lying 30 miles south of Bologna in the northeast part of Italy. While it is an agricultural and an industrial center, it owes its renown to the manufacturing of ceramics. You see, history has it that Marco Polo (Venezia 1254-1324) brought the Garofano design from the Orient in 1279 (together with the pasta). Developed in the Italian county of Lombardia, it went on to become a celebrated ‘signature-pattern’ in the Majolica town of Faenza. The part of Faenza in the industry of ceramics is eminent: its name, in the French version ‘Faience’, has meant for eras as an esteemed kind of ceramics. According to what I have learned, no other ceramics-producing city has done such success. What’s unique about this collection is that it is the only collection without a pure white background glazing. Curious to know why? This high-end collection is manufactured using the same color tones and design similar to the original antique pieces. The background is a very (very) light Gray.
#10 Antico Deruta Collection
Remember the Ricco Deruta pattern? In years, the Antico Deruta collection has always been measured to be the most formal representation of the Ricco Deruta pattern. Its classic “Arabesque” decorative form is made of rhythmic, curvilinear designs painted in a unique mixture of regal blue and bright yellow. The foliated scrollwork theme featured in this collection was also applied in the architectural adornments of late Roman and Renaissance periods. Spending a few more bucks for this beauty is worth it, as it can be a good conversation piece for your kitchen as well.
One other choice of collections you need to see is from DishesOnly. Take a look at these designs I personally liked:
#1 Mosaico Collection
For those who want safe collection designs, this one is for you. Mosaico is a lavish and genuinely Italian pottery emphasized by a Classical Greek mosaic design, improved by the skilled craftsmen of Fasano Ceramiche into a contemporary “rustic-chic” effect. I recommend using the refined Mosaico dinner set for hosting gatherings inside or outdoors. The one of a kind inscribed pattern on the edge of each dish varies and it demonstrates clear tell-tale signs of the small hand-painted tiles. The terracotta rim adds intensity and a delightful accent to the hip and elegant red and brown hues.
#2 Arcobaleno Collection
Can’t get enough of rainbows? How about bold striking pattern of colors? You need to see this collection exclusively sold in DishesOnly. It is a tribute to Op-Art, with its name, Arcobaleno a direct translation of rainbow in English. This pattern is clearly different from the other ones, but I liked how it gives a breath of fresh air in this selection I provided. The bright color swirls and the punchy motif of the Arcobaleno dinner plates result in a contemporary and hypnotic look. Hand-painted with effervescent and glittering hues, Arcobaleno are exciting, uplifting and joyful dinner plates best suited for a happy home. Get this, you even have the option to customize it according to your favorite rim and center colors!
#3 Buongiorno Collection
For most of us living in a fast-paced environment with less time for de-stressing, sometimes we want a reminder of how relaxing even just for a little bit can do wonders. .I personally liked this piece for its calming look, especially when paired with a perfect breakfast before jumpstarting your day in the hectic world.
The Buongiorno breakfast set has a soft, graceful purity, stunningly crafted in stoneware and hand painted by Italian artists with nature and serenity in mind. The perfectly imperfect strokes and the fascinating detailing, all uniquely executed, are entirely handmade. You’ll like this set even more because included is a one-of-a-kind cup, plus a plate and cereal bowl. They work best together because of the complementing designs. And may I also add, despite the ceramic material, every piece is lightweight! You also have a choice from denim blue or hazelnut brown, both neutral tones perfect for everyday use. You can mix and match them as well, which is why this is a winner for me. For more warmth and coziness to your table, I recommend combining Buongiorno with wooden accessories.
What are your thoughts on Italian hand painted plates? They might be a bit pricey, but knowing how they are painstakingly and stunningly made makes me wish I can buy a lot of them. They are truly worth saving up for, that’s for sure.