The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the fortunate beneficiary of Howard I. and Janet H. Stein's important collection of Italian Renaissance ceramics. This handsome book features the Stein Collection and also brings it together, for the first time, with related pieces belonging to the Museum. More than ninety objects, painted in vibrant colours that have survived half a millenium with undiminished brilliance, are reproduced in colour and black and white. Together they represent the various shapes, ornamentation, ambitious compositions, and complex narratives characteristic of a distinguished selection of ceramics from Renaissance Italy. Italian Maiolica is examined in social and historical detail, with chapters covering subjects from Design and Ornaments, to Scenes from Daily Life, from Patrons and Collectors, to Uses of Maiolica. The fascinating history of these objects unfolds in the text by specialist Wendy M. Watson. Included is an original essay by Dean Walker on collecting Maiolica in the United States, and a detailed scholarly checklist. A magnificent book, it is sure to become an essential reference for historians and collectors.