A mystery surrounds the figure of Vittorio Amedeo Gioanetti, brilliant chemist, entrepreneur and freemason who turned Turin into one of the most important centers for the production of porcelain between '700 and '800. An entrepreneurial adventure wanted by the Savoy who, with the Vinovo Royal Porcelain Factory, wanted to challenge the other European courts in the field of applied art artifacts. Few years of intensive activities were enough for Gionetti’s works to caught the attention of Emperor Napoleon and later to be disputed by the most important museums worldwide (New York, London, Limoges, Turin, Geneva, Faenza), as well as by the most important auction houses. But what is the mysterious formula to produce porcelains so refined that we still don't know today? A team of chemists, historians, museum curators and professors talk about this extraordinary adventure in between entrepreneurship, art and mystery.
The birth of porcelain is lost in the sands of time, in some remote corner of the Chinese Empire. Here, before the birth of Christ, the production of glazed ceramics began, whose characteristics resemble porcelain. It took more than a thousand years before the technique was refined and perfected, up until the creation of the imperial objects of the Sung, Yuan and Ming dynasties, which crossed the Chinese border, spreading into Japan and Asia and finally reaching the Royal Courts of Europe. But the secret of porcelain remained unknown for a long time in Europe, before it was discovered accidentally in Saxony, at the court of Augustus the Strong, in the early eighteenth century. Finally the arcanum was found and it spread among the European Courts intertwining stories of entrepreneurship, science and betrayals. Vinovo, an hour on horseback from Turin, the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Here, in the last quarter of the 18th century, there was an extraordinary artistic and industrial development, one of the first and most prestigious porcelain manufacturing enterprises in Italy. The highly desired “white gold” allured aristocrats, kept entrepreneurs awake at night and inspired both chemists and alchemists. A brief adventure which produced sublime results that today embellish museum and private collections across the world.