The CAPODIMONTE factory was founded by Carlo Borbone, king of Naples and the Two Sicilies in 1743. When in 1734 he conquered the kingdom of Naples, winning the opposition of the Austrians, he took with him expert advisors and the art collections of his mother, Elisabetta last of the Farnese family, for whom he built the Capodimonte palace. His interest in porcelain arose when he married Maria Amalia Walburg of Saxony in 1738, granddaughter of Augusto Forte of Saxony who had founded in 1710 the first porcelain factory in Europe Meissen. In 1740 he was already studying the methods of production trying some experiments in the courtyards of the royal palace of Capo di Monte above Naples. The first steps of the manufacture took place by Vittorio Shepers, after several attempts, he managed to obtain a fabulous and unique tender porcelain. Many enamel colors were ordered in Venice and Dresden. In 1743, the results were so satisfactory that Carlo ordered the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice to design the final factory building in the Capodimonte park. Well-known artists and painters arrived from all over the place. In the new building, workers and artists from Viventino, albeit amidst quarrels and subterfuges, as inmates of a small industrious monastic community, under the supervision of the bursar Aniello Andrea Carolla. In the month of December alone, 1970 intact pieces came out of the Capodimonte ovens: snuffboxes, cups, teapots, coffee pots, cups, stick knobs and saucers. Between 1743-1745 the chief modeler Giuseppe Gricc created a series of characters taken from the Commedia dell’Arte Italiana, including the various Pulcinella, Pantalone, Colombina and Arlecchino. Other figurines represented mythological religious subjects, musicians, peasant singers and fishermen. When King Charles left for Spain, Ferdinand IV wanted to renew his father’s tradition by giving rise to a new factory in Naples; in 1780 a new phase for manufacturing was opened and the production of bisque was introduced, that is the opaque porcelain, until then the porcelain had been glossy. Gradually Capodimonte, as we know it today, has developed to rival the glories of the past. It seems curious to the fact that companies born in the Milanese and Veneto area to carry on a tradition born in Naples in fact some we can say that eighty percent of the production of Capodimonte figurines is produced and exported all over the world from the Veneto itself.
The Grande Impero Collection refers back to the Imperial Style, which originated in France during the second phase of the Neoclassical period (late 18th and early 19th centuries). Its slenderness of line, sober elegance, and the subdued Romanticism already evident in its reinterpretation of the classical model fully vindicate the principle of imitation on which these works are based, making it a valid expression of Neoclassical taste and style.These artefacts have been created using traditional techniques for both the modelling and the decoration, every detail of which has been executed using precious enamels and fine 24-carats gold. They are an example of the high degree of taste and technical skill achieved by our master craftsmen. To identify a genuine VILLARI artefact, it is vital to verify its origin by checking the guarantee card, the VILLARI trade mark, and the “Made in Italy” mark.