Castelli Majolica Manufacture

Since the 17th century, the small village of Castelli in the province of Teramo has been making ceramics of superior quality. One family in particular, the Grue brothers, stood out for their talent.

We have one masterpiece preserved by the founding member of the family Francesco Antonio (1594–1673), his ceramic Madonna of Loreto from 1647 at the parish church of Castelli.

His son Carlantonio (1655–1723) took up his heritage by specializing in decorations with both sacred and profane scenes, taking inspiration from great artists such as Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, and Salvator Rosa.

There is no everyday object that the ceramists of Castelli have not decorated with supreme art; everything from vases to plates, tiles, and frames to altarpieces.

Decorations were highly varied, depicting allegorical or historical scenes as well as landscapes or mythological subjects.

The religious scenes, however, were the most common.

The dynasty of ceramic artists continued with Francesco Antonio Saverio, son of Carlantonio (1686–1746), active at Capodimonte, at the court of King Charles III.

Other important figures included Anastasio (1691–1742) and Liborio Grue (1702–1776), who specialized in gold highlights;

Another Grue had the honor of working with royalty: Saverio (approx. 1731-1806), who worked with Ferdinando IV in Naples at the Royal Manufactory of the Bourbon dynasty.