Imperial Porcelain in the Kremlin

On October 19 the exhibition «Porcelain ware and ceramics of the Imperial Porcelain Factory from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum» was opened in the exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry in the Kremlin.

The exposition is devoted to products of the most famous native porcelain manufacturer. It is referred to the Imperial Porcelain Factory founded in 1744 and closed after the revolution. The factory should have become the focus of the best art force, style setter and big experimental centre.

The exhibition feature more than 300 exhibits made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory from the XVIII century till 1917. The manufacture worked to produce products exclusively on imperial orders. The products were destined for highest presents, palace interiors and solemn holiday tablefuls and to serve as decorations of everyday life. They should have proved both advanced aesthetic taste of the customer and the luxury of an imperial palace and the exclusive level of industry and techniques development in Russia.

During the short reign of the emperor Paul I elegant works for personal use were created. For example, Paul’s inkstand reflected emperor’s autocratic ambitions and small tea things showed common sentimental mood that was characteristic for the end of the XVIII century.

Alexander’s Empire style is presented by unique exhibits that are true landmarks in the history of the Russian porcelain. The Imperial Porcelain Factory worked a lot with large-scale sculpture arrangements and details in that period. Monumental antique-like vases including the famous one «Gossips» clearly demonstrate technical perfection of the Russian porcelain that let produce complex plastic arrangements.

The Peoples War of 1812 was also reflected in porcelain art. Portraits of the tsar’s family, outstanding generals and Chief Magistrates of Triple Alliance made on cups and services were extremely popular. Increased patriotic feelings resulted in the images of people in national costumes and scenes from common people’s life.
The reign of Nicolas I can be called the most pompous period in the Russian porcelain history. Works reached the highest art level. New technologies let masters produce big things that take a bit of doing – it is extremely difficult to produce and anneal them. Ornate interior vases-craters are excellent examples of such a work.

In the second quarter of the XIX century historical style was born. Porcelain can be compared to a mirror as it reflects slightest art changes. In the XIX century it reflected forms and ornaments of the Old Russian art (a service of the Great Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich), stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals (the palace service «Cottage», Gothic service), antique motifs. At the same time with historical reminiscences Biedermeier style existed – it served to create comfortable, elegant, a little funny, playful things (cigar stand «Elephant», tea box).

The period from the end of the XIX century till the beginning of the XX century was a period of technological experiments at the Imperial Porcelain Factory. Craftsmen experimented with colour and crystal glazes trying to get new expression and unusual space effect. Underglaze painting – the technique has come to Russia from Denmark, Motherland of the Empress Maria Fyodorovna, – became a separate trend. Such articles were immensely popular.

The exhibition runs till January 13.

Exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry
Moscow, Kremlin, The Moscow Kremlin museums
Tel.: +7 (495) 202 3776

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Published in: on December 12, 2007 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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