Blue earthenware platter with plants and birds in white and gold

Nevers, ca. 1660−70
Faience (tin-glazed earthenware)
H. 16 in. (40.7 cm), W. 19 3/4 in. (50 cm)
Cat. 16
© The Frick Collection


By the middle of the seventeenth century, Nevers potters and painters were exploring new types of decoration, probably with the hope of forging a new artistic identity and attracting a broader clientele, while also responding to the artistic revolution taking place in France under Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715). Italian potters had, by this time, been established in France for several generations, and some French potters had no Italian roots at all; the Italian influence had therefore become weaker. At the forefront of the new production of faience was the use of a dark blue background, often referred to as “Nevers blue,” as seen on this large oval platter painted in white, yellow, and ochre with birds and bouquets of tulips, roses, daisies, and carnations, reminiscent of the Iznik tiles made in western Anatolia during the sixteenth century.

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