Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sèvres Porcelain



It survived the Revolution, and had a gaudy resurgence (as seen above) during the reign of Napoleon, who patronized the opulent porcelain, just like the kings and queens whom he had replaced. Here is an essay on the history of Sèvres. Lauren has an interesting post as well.

Before their untimely deaths, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette patronized the national porcelain, as was their duty. They had simple taste compared to the revolutionaries who took over the government, the palaces, and the porcelain factories. Here are pictures of reproductions of pieces ordered by the king and queen. The laiterie at Rambouillet, with the "breast cup" and other vessels, was supposed to celebrate all that was wholesome and natural, from breast-feeding (which most noblewomen shunned) to the manual labor that went into running a dairy.

The aristocracy had traditionally looked down upon manual labor and peasant life. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette wanted to show that it was good and beautiful and life-giving. The royal dairy was a sort of monument to the way that staples such as cheese and milk were produced.

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7 comments:

papabear said...

I'm not sure if you like in early music, but if you do, you may be interested in this week's edition of the Early Music Show.

elena maria vidal said...

I love it. Thank you!

Lauren said...

The aristocracy had traditionally looked down upon manual labor and peasant life. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette wanted to show that it was good and beautiful and life-giving.

How true and well put! Thank you for the link, the history of this company is so interesting! Have you had the chance to see any of the pieces in person (of the Louis XVI era) ?

elena maria vidal said...

You're welcome, Lauren. Oh, yes, the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, where my husband and I used to go when we were dating, has some magnificent pieces.

God's Princess said...

How utterly charming the top ones are!

M xx

elena maria vidal said...

Buonaparte thought so, too.

andrew1860 said...

Thanks for this lovely post. I use to live a block away from the Walters art museum and love to visit and look at the French porcelain.