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Grade 4+

Maiolica, Myth, and the Minotaur

Zeus, Poseidon, and Daphne are just some of the Gods, Heroes, and Heroines who are illustrated on our pieces from the Italian Renaissance. Bring your students to the Gardiner to hear their stories and learn about the art of ceramic painting during the Renaissance, including why Maiolica objects remain vibrant centuries after their production.

  • Links: Greek and Roman Mythology, Italian history, Visual Arts
  • Studio Project: Heroic figure or mythical beast

Students take a guided tour, followed by a hands-on activity in the studio.

Students will learn about Greek and Roman mytholgy from scenes painted on the vessels, complete with a scavenger hunt and audio visual presentations. In the afternoon, students will work with professional potters in the studio for their hands-on project.

Program Details

$15*Full-Day Program
$9*Half-Day Program
$7Guided Tour
Free**Unguided Tour

* Optional $3 kiln firing fee. Firing takes 10 to 14 business days. Please add a $5 processing fee per group.

** Registration required, please fill out the form by clicking “Book a Visit” button below.

Book a Visit

1. Dish with scene from the story of Icarus
Italy, Urbino and Gubbio, c. 1530
Painted by Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo (c. 1500 – after 1542); lustred in the workshop of Maestro Giorgio Andreoli (c. 1465/70-c. 1553)
Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica), with metallic lustre
Inscription on reverse: fran: Avello R : pt: / Dedalo co’l figlical’ T Aeve / à nolo. / fabula y (fran: Avello R: painted this:/ The fable of Daedalus with his son in the air)
Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.362

2. Seated Drummer, Tala-Tonalá style
Mexico, Jalisco
300 B.C. - A.D. 200
Earthenware with white on red slip paint
Gift of George and Helen Gardiner, G83.1.56

3. Shaman’s Head (II), 2006, Gift of the Museum of Inuit Art G16.13.8

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