The Frick Collection
Goya's Last Works
 
Special Exhibition: The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain
 
:: The Japanese Palace of Augustus the Strong: Royal Ambition and Collecting Traditions in Dresden

:: The Arnhold Collection: From Dresden to New York

:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1710–13: “Red Porcelain” Production


:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1713–50: The New Medium, Court Culture, and European Tastes


:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1720-50: Chinoiserie Style, the Marchands- Merciers, and the Independent Decorators


The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710–50
March 25, 2008, through June 29, 2008

  Teapot with Cover, Meissen porcelain, c. 1715, Decoration attributed to the Funcke workshop, Dresden, c. 1717?18, 2001.455. Photo: Maggie Nimkin
 

Teapot with Cover, Meissen porcelain, c. 1715, Decoration attributed to the Funcke
workshop, Dresden, c. 1717–18, 2001.455. Photo: Maggie Nimkin

The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony, c. 1713–50: The New Medium, Court Culture, and European Tastes

With the production of white porcelain from 1713 onward, the fledgling royal workshop at Meissen became an industry of national prestige comparable to the Gobelins of France or the Opificio delle pietre dure of Florence. Before the arrival of the celebrated painter Johann Gregorius Höroldt in 1720, all surface decoration was accomplished outside the factory by goldsmiths and painters attached to the court in Dresden. Yet by 1745, the unofficial cutoff of the Arnhold Collection, Meissen boasted nearly five hundred employees, including 179 painters who were required to work anonymously in a variety of established factory styles. Court sculptors were also hired to create the new models required for the Japanese Palace, bringing to Meissen in 1730 the talented Johann Joachim Kändler, whose fresh rococo style remains as much a factory signature as his rival Höroldt’s chinoiserie capriccios.

Great Bustard, Meissen porcelain, 1732, Modeled by Johann Gottlieb Kirchner (1706??) Signed a. s. [for the former Andreas Schiefer (prob. 1690?1761), Ex. Coll. August II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Japanese Palace, Dresden, 1935.248. Photo: Maggie Nimkin  
Great Bustard, Meissen porcelain, 1732, Modeled by Johann Gottlieb Kirchner (1706–?)
Signed a. s. [for the former Andreas Schiefer (prob. 1690–1761), Ex. Coll. August II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Japanese Palace, Dresden, 1935.248. Photo: Maggie Nimkin

 

Standardization, economy, and consistency are the aims of any factory industry, and both Höroldt and Kändler, in charge of the separate painting and modeling studios, worked to control and streamline production in light of the extraordinary commissions of the king and his ministers. Into the 1730s, emphasis was placed on the furnishings required for the Japanese Palace, resulting in models and decoration that were consciously predicated on royal tastes and traditions. Following the death of Augustus the Strong in 1733, it was August III’s ministers, notably Count Sulkowski and Count Brühl, who exploited the potential of the new porcelain medium, stimulating the development of Meissen table and dessert services and the countless allegorical figures and groups that were eventually to replace the medium of sugar sculpture, even on the king’s table.

  Table Decoration: Figure of a River God, Meissen porcelain, c. 1740, probably modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler (1706?1775), 1739, 2003.512. Photo: Maggie Nimkin
 

Table Decoration: Figure of a River
God
, Meissen porcelain, c. 1740, probably modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler (1706–1775), 1739, 2003.512. Photo: Maggie Nimkin

This period displays the varied painting styles practiced on the new medium of Meissen porcelain. The smooth glazed surfaces were canvases for the artists, who worked in an ever-expanding palette and in a succession of highly detailed miniature styles, based initially on Höroldt’s original designs, on paper or on porcelain. Later they copied literally from the thousands of prints, some of them hand colored, that were bought by the manufactory for this purpose and for the in-house art school. Baroque influences lingered longer in the modeling studio, which only under Kändler’s supervision found a fresh vision for the sculptural potential of the medium.

The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710–50, was organized for The Frick Collection by Director Anne L. Poulet and Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, guest curator of the exhibition. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published by The Frick Collection in association with D Giles Unlimited, London, available in mid-April in the Museum Shop and online at shopfrick.org.

The exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Arnhold Foundation.

 

 

The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-50 Teapot, Meissen porcelain, c. 1725– 30, decoration attributed to Ignaz Preissler, c. 1725–30; 2001.468, photo: Maggie Nimkin Teapot and Cover, Meissen porcelain; c. 1725-30; h: 15.2 cm, without cover, to tip of handle h: 13.7 cm; The Arnhold Collection; photo: Maggie Nimkin Stand, Meissen porcelain, c. 1730, 2001.435, photo: Maggie NimkinCoffee Pot with Cover, Meissen stoneware, c. 1710–13, engraving executed in Dresden or Bohemia, 2001.449 (photo: Maggie Nimkin)