The Classical vein that made its appearance in the Ginori Manufactory from its first years of activity continues in Giò Ponti’s creations, particularly in some of the decorations which refer to it explicitly, including in the names: L’Amore dell’Antichità (The Love of Antiquity), La Passeggiata archeologica (The Archaeological Stroll) La Conversazione classica (The Classical Conversation) and La Casa degli Efebi (The House of the Ephebes).
The first representation of The Classical Conversation was as a decoration for porcelain urns and cists, with gold inserts that highlight the pure white background, to be presented at the exhibitions of Monza and Paris in 1925. The complex composition with Classical themes, borrowed from printed catalogues, also brings in decorative elements from La Passeggiata Archeologica, designed by Ponti in 1923.
In La Conversazione Classica, the allegorical figures, alluding to the Arts and translated into Art Deco style, move over a tiled floor, embellished with symbols of Classical times, with vanishing points that add dynamism to the composition. To accompany their rhythmic arrangement over the decorative space, elements of archaeological origin such as obelisks, vases and ruins alternate with reinterpretations of Pompeian paintings, with putti captured in playful poses.
In 1925, Ponti transferred all the subjects that make up this decoration onto a large maiolica jar from which some were separated off to adorn oval and rounded vases. The revived versions presented here, which are faithful to Giò Ponti’s originals, offer an example: The figures are silhouetted against cobalt blue backgrounds in the case of the putto playing with the dog, or against a vaguely Pompeian red as regards the semi-reclining figures.