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  • Centrepiece
    Bustelli, Franz Anton, born 1718 - died 1763
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Nymphenburg, Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1759-60 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bustelli, Franz Anton, born 1718 - died 1763 (modeller)
    Nymphenburg porcelain factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Murray Bequest Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    World Ceramics, room 145, case 50

While J.J. Kändler of Meissen was the greatest and most innovative porcelain sculptor of the eighteenth century, the most individual modeller working in this material was undoubtedly Franz Anton Bustelli, a brilliant artist of Italian extraction about whom little is known, who worked for the Bavarian court porcelain factory of Nymphenburg from 1754 until his death in 1763.

What makes any work by Bustelli so distinctive is his use of closely observed and sensitively rendered naturalistic detail in combination with extremely elegant and contorted poses, angular treatment of drapery, and wildly asymmetrical abstract rococo bases and ornament. Here rococo scrollwork runs riot in spiral motion, animating the picnic setting for a pair of lovers in hunting dress. The figure group was evidently designed as a centrepiece for a dining table: the spiral movement and twisted postures ensure that the composition is satisfying from whatever angle it is viewed. Like Kändler at Meissen, Bustelli carved his original models (from which the plaster manufacturing moulds were taken) in fruitwood, which allowed sharper detailing than modelling in plaster, wax or clay.

Physical description

Figure group for a dining table, porcelain.

Place of Origin

Nymphenburg, Germany (made)


ca. 1759-60 (made)


Bustelli, Franz Anton, born 1718 - died 1763 (modeller)
Nymphenburg porcelain factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

A shield with the arms of Bavaria


Height: 27.3 cm

Descriptive line

Figure group for a dining table, porcelain, modelled by F.A.Bustelli, Nymphenburg porcelain factory, Germany, about 1759-60.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X



Subjects depicted



Ceramics; Porcelain

Collection code


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