Friday, February 7, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Scaramouche and Columbine, 1740

Scaramouche and Columbine
Meissen Porcelain Factory
Germany, 1740
The Victoria & Albert Museum

I’ve always enjoyed Meissen porcelain figures and I’m especially fond of the work of one of their chief modelers, Johann Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) who was responsible for a monumental and diverse range of figures.

In my opinion, some of the most attractive of Kändler’s figures were those which he based on the Commedia dell’Arte. These porcelain figurines and groups were made, in many cases, for export to France where, in the Seventeenth Century, the fashion for adoring the dining table with porcelain figures during the dessert course was especially en vogue. This figure group depicts the Commedia dell’Arte characters of Scaramouche and Columbine. Made in 1740, the figures of hard-paste porcelain shows the famed couple embracing. Columbine holds a bird cage, showing how Scaramouche has captured her heart. The pair of lovers is brilliant with enamel colors in blue, red, gray, yellow, turquoise and white.

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