The Pharmacy of the ancient Saint Paul Hospital in Savona

Giuliano Salamone Factory
1666
Savona

In short

The ceramics exhibited in this room, originally from the old pharmacy of the San Paolo hospital in Savona, represent an excellent example of the “orientalizzante a tappezzeria” style. The elegant decoration in blue and white is composed of clouds, vegetation elements, insects, birds, castles, turreted hamlets, little angels, animals, including monkeys and horses, silhouettes and “figuretti”, spread over the entire surface to compose an elegant, refined weave.

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The history of Ligurian maiolica between the 16th and 19th centuries is closely linked to that of the collection of hospital, convent, and private pharmacies, for the conservation and distribution of spices and medicinal formulations. The ceramics exhibited in this room, originally from the old pharmacy of the San Paolo hospital in Savona, represent an excellent example of the “orientalizzante a tappezzeria” style. The elegant decoration in blue and white is composed of clouds, vegetation elements, insects, birds, castles, turreted hamlets, little angels, animals, including monkeys and horses, silhouettes and “figuretti”, spread over the entire surface to compose an elegant, refined weave.
The surface of each vase features the figure of Saint Paul enveloped in a large cloak, accompanied by his traditional iconographical attributes: the sword and the book. The supply is divided into seven types of vases: hydrias (stagnoni) for water, pill holders, flasks for keeping seeds, albarellos, electuary vases and frustoconical vases (whose shape is exclusive to this collection) for oily mixtures. Most of these items were made in 1666, at the same time as the launch of the wooden apparatus of the hospital’s new pharmacy. The items carry the brand with the coat of arms of Savona on the bottom, indicating that the works were created in the workshop of Giuliano Salamone. Indeed, the initials “GS” found at the base of some ceramics refer to him. These are found alongside the crowned coat of arms of Savona which lies above the five-pointed star, the emblem of the potter’s family. The great elegance of the decoration is attributed to the brushwork of Gio Antonio Guidobono, who collaborated with the workshop of Giuliano Salamone during that period.

These ceramics are shown in room 10.

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