The Museum of Ceramics of Viterbo shows the history of this art form, which from the 13th century onwards constituted one of the most important industries of the city. The official name of the museum is “Museum of Medieval and Renaissance Ceramics”. It is housed in the Palazzo Brugiotti in the Via Cavour.
Museum of Ceramics Viterbo
Address, Opening Hours and Admission Price
The address of the Museum of Medieval and Renaissance Ceramics is Via Cavour, 67 – Viterbo (Tel +39 0761346136). Opening hours: Thursday till Sunday from 10.00 till 13.00 and from 15.30 till 18.30. (Note that opening times may change during the Covid-crisis.)
History and description
The ceramics museum is divided into three sections. On display are some 200 objects that were made in the northern part of the Lazio region (roughly the province of Viterbo). The oldest of these date back to the 13th century and the most recent to the 18th century.
As early as the 13th century, ceramics in the area around Viterbo had advanced to the point where there were regulations specifying how and by whom this art could be practiced.
In the 14th century, new ways of obtaining certain shades of brown and green were discovered, and it was also at this time that the tin glaze used to make the white background was first used.
These developments were accelerated by contacts especially with the Arab schools, which had been using these techniques before.
From the middle of the 15th century the art of ceramics in Viterbo slowly declined, only to regain importance in the following century because of the need to decorate the beautiful newly built palaces, which was done, among other things, by realizing the coats of arms of the different families on plates and goblets.
After the rise of the production of porcelain in the 17th century, the art of ceramics in Viterbo came to a standstill.