Istoriato is an Italian word meaning story telling. It is a classic style of Renaissance art featuring narrative scenes and figurative subjects, and was much admired and sought after by important patrons of maiolica. The development of this style meant the Italian Maiolica was evolving from utilitarian products to articles of luxury and high art. Masks, grotesques, arms trophies, dolphin headed scrolls, flowers, baskets of fruit, winged cherubs, and banners with inscriptions, legendary labors of ancient heroes, biblical references, trophies and coats of arms, music, portrait medallions, human figures and winged monsters were all motifs of the period, painted on large ornamental pieces. The most popular products were the beautiful chargers with profile portraits surrounded by a richly decorated border. They sometimes included sayings for commemorative purposes such as weddings and births. Today these pieces are loved for their hand painted, finely detailed depictions of romantic figures often coupled with a sentiment to fit the portrait. Pictured here: Pulchra Ut Sol, As Beautiful as the Sun.