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Figure group
  • Figure group
    De La Rue, Louis-Félix, born 1731 - died 1765
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Figure group

  • Place of origin:

    Sèvres (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1754 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    De La Rue, Louis-Félix, born 1731 - died 1765 (modeller)
    Sèvres porcelain factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain on a chased and gilded stand

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    799-1882

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case U, shelf 1

This group and its pair 799&A-1882 are among the earliest sculptural figure groups produced by the Vincennes porcelain factory. The models have been traced in the factory documents by Sèvres Archivist Tamara Préaud as the work of sculptor Louis-Félix de La Rue, modelled after designs by François Boucher.

The Vincennes porcelain factory had a link to the French crown from the start as it was established in about 1740 in the semi-abandoned royal fortress of the château de Vincennes to the east of Paris. A group of porcelain specialists devoted themselves there to solving the technical challenges of porcelain production, as huge sums were paid by wealthy aristocrats for this glassy white substance which, up to then, was mostly imported from East Asia or the Meissen factory in what is now Germany. During the early 1740s the majority of the Vincennes factory's products were probably experimental as the porcelain body was still being perfected and different enamel colours invented. In 1745 however, they secured a royal 'privilège' which granted them the exclusive right to produce porcelain ‘in Meissen style’ in France. As the wording suggests, the factory's earliest productions were indebted to the prestigious Meissen factory. The factory's repertoire quickly evolved however, from the emulation of East Asian or Meissen examples to incorporate the latest styles used in French gilt-bronze, woodcarving and decorative painting. The financial support and patronage of King Louis XV and his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, enabled Vincennes to secure the best technicians, artists, sculptors and designers. Jean-Claude Duplessis (director of models, 1748-74), Jean-Jacques Bachelier (director of decoration, 1751-93), Etienne-Maurice Falconet (director of sculpture, 1757-66), and the court painter François Boucher, all played a central role in the development of this entirely new French art form. By 1756 the factory had outgrown its workshops in the old château and it transferred to specially constructed premises at Sèvres (south-west of Paris). In 1759 the king purchased the factory outright and remarkably the Sèvres porcelain manufactory continues in production to the present day.

Physical description

Figure group of three boys sporting in porcelain. On a 19th century chased ormolu stand.

Place of Origin

Sèvres (made)

Date

ca. 1754 (made)

Artist/maker

De La Rue, Louis-Félix, born 1731 - died 1765 (modeller)
Sèvres porcelain factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain on a chased and gilded stand

Marks and inscriptions

'CN'
Incised

Dimensions

Height: 23.5 cm, Width: 17.8 cm base

Object history note

Modelled in 1754, after Boucher. One of a pair with 799A-1882.

Descriptive line

Figure group of three boys sporting in porcelain, modelled by Louis-Félix De La Rue, Sèvres porcelain factory, Sèvres, ca. 1754, on a 19th century chased ormolu French stand.

Materials

Porcelain

Techniques

Gilded; Chased

Subjects depicted

Boys; Ormolu

Categories

Ceramics; Porcelain

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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