The Immaculate Conception thumbnail 1
The Immaculate Conception thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 3

The Immaculate Conception

Figure
ca. 1737 (made), 1737 (modelled)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This Catholic votive statue of Mary, Mother of God, shows her at the moment of the Immaculate Conception. It was modelled by the great Meissen modeller, J. J. Kändler. He created a number of models of biblical figures intended as special altarpiece garnitures for churches or the chapels of princely palaces, some over a metre high. The size of this model however, suggests that it was probably intended for private devotion. While Kändler could draw on living creatures in the royal menagerie and mounted specimens of birds for some of his well-known animal models, he had to rely on prints for inspiration for his religious figures, usually of Italian origin. The dramatic billowing drapery and intensely religious pose of this figure are typical features of the Italian baroque movement.

This figure is a far cry from the bawdy animation of Kändler's harlequins, the poetic detail of his street vendors, the humour of his monkey musicians or the elegant sophistication of his courtly figures. It shows a different side to this marvelously versatile sculptor who, from the moment he arrived in 1731, transformed model production at the Meissen factory.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleThe Immaculate Conception (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt, with ormolu mount
Brief description
Figure of 'The Immaculate Conception', hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilt, modelled by J. J. Kändler, 1737, made by Meissen porcelain factory, Germany, ca. 1737
Physical description
Figure of 'The Immaculate Conception', of hard-paste porcelain. The Virgin with hands clasped in prayer on a globe with putti heads in relief entwined by the serpent holding the apple. Low sloped base with canted corners (certainly intended for further mounting). Painted in enamel colours and gilt, the Virgin's robes white. Mounted on an ormolu pedestal, probably contemporary German.
Dimensions
  • Without base height: 19.5cm
  • Overall height: 28cm
Credit line
Bequeathed by Miss Florence Augusta Beare in memory of Arthur Doveton Clarke
Production
Attribution from the manuscript catalogue dates from about 1970 and was compiled by William Hutton of the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Subject depicted
Summary
This Catholic votive statue of Mary, Mother of God, shows her at the moment of the Immaculate Conception. It was modelled by the great Meissen modeller, J. J. Kändler. He created a number of models of biblical figures intended as special altarpiece garnitures for churches or the chapels of princely palaces, some over a metre high. The size of this model however, suggests that it was probably intended for private devotion. While Kändler could draw on living creatures in the royal menagerie and mounted specimens of birds for some of his well-known animal models, he had to rely on prints for inspiration for his religious figures, usually of Italian origin. The dramatic billowing drapery and intensely religious pose of this figure are typical features of the Italian baroque movement.

This figure is a far cry from the bawdy animation of Kändler's harlequins, the poetic detail of his street vendors, the humour of his monkey musicians or the elegant sophistication of his courtly figures. It shows a different side to this marvelously versatile sculptor who, from the moment he arrived in 1731, transformed model production at the Meissen factory.
Bibliographic references
  • Honey, W. B. Dresden china: an introduction to the study of Meissen porcelain. London: A. & C. Black, 1934, Pl. XLVI (b), p. 111, and Notes 112, 182 (as perhaps Krchner).
  • Honey, W. B. European ceramic art London: Faber & Faber [1949-52], Pl. 146A (as Kirchner)
Collection
Accession number
C.971-1919

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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