This gorgeous, large technicolor urn is full of fanciful creatures and interesting details. Completely handmade and hand painted in Tuscany, this stunning example of Italian craftsmanship will be a great conversation piece in your home or garden.
The word “grottesque” is derived from Italian grottesco (literally “of a cave”) and refers to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome at the end of the 15th century. The word first was used in regards to paintings found on the walls of basements of Roman ruins that were called at that time Le Grotte (The Grottoes) due to their appearance. These caves turned out to be rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, the unfinished palace complex started by Nero after the Great Fire of Rome in CE 64, which had become overgrown and buried, until they were broken into again, mostly from above. Spreading from Italian to the other European languages, the term was long used largely interchangeably with arabesque and moresque for types of decorative patterns using curving foliage elements. Today we use the term in reference to the mythical faces and creatures so often seen in art and architecture of the Mediterranean region, though grotesques are certainly found throughout a number of worldly cultures. Read about one of our most famous grotesques here on our blog.