Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Figure of the Day: A Chinese “Pagod,” 1760

The Victoria & Albert Museum

A “pagod” is, essentially, an idol. Here, we see a Chinese pagod of hard-paste porcelain and enamels dating to about 1760. The figure is the central piece of a table group of sixteen chinoiserie figures which was modeled by the great Franz Anton Bustelli for the Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory. The group also features figures of a priest, children and servants. Some are shown playing musical instruments, others are singing while some are shown bowing in worship.

The group was made during a period of great fascination with the orient. Meissen’s Kändler, a favorite of mine, began modeling chinoiserie figures in 1740 and the Nymphenburg factory followed suit.

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