The ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ and Porcelain Design

Plate 4 single figure

The Commedia dell’Arte was used as an inspiration for the decoration of both pottery and porcelain. Well known characters such as Harlequin and Pantalone were produced as porcelain figurines by the Meissen factory.

This first edition text, dating from 1729, recounts in Latin and German the burlesque scenes and amorous tales of the Commedia dell’Arte. The text is accompanied by twelve engravings illustrating the narrative. The illustrations were drawn by Johann Jacob Schübler (1689-1741) and engraved on copper by Johann Balthasar Probst for this work. Drawings and etchings such as these were the inspiration for figurines produced by Meissen. These particular engravings also served as models for a series of ten porcelain figures, designed around 1765 by Wenzel Neu for the porcelain factory of Kloster Veilsdorf.

Plate 7

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Publication details:

Amor, vehementer quidem flagrans; artificiose tamen celatus, de Pantalonis custodiaque triumphans, intentato certamine prudentum stultorum. Sive Arlechin viva pictura ridiculesque Cupido.

Die war hefftig entflammte/Doch aber füftlich verborgene und über Pantalons Kufficht Triumphirende Amor, den angeftelltem Bett : Streit fluger Phantaften oder Arlechin das lebendige Bemahlde und lȁcherl Cupido.

Folio with 13 sheets, 12 engravings, paperback, untrimmed edges, contemporary marbled paper cover. Leather-trimmed chemise and slipcase. (Augsburg, the heirs of Jeremias Wolff, Johann Balthazar Probst, Johann Jacob Schubler, 1729.)

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John Singer Sargent: New Catalogue Raisonné volume

Now available for pre-order:

9780300177367John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1908-1913, by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray. Vol 8. New Haven and London: 2014. 424 pages, with 420 colour and 58 black & white illustrations. Hardback. 32 x 25.5cms. 

The eighth volume of the catalogue raisonné. Documents 299 works in oil and watercolour: figures in rest, works of rugged nature, architecture and gardens, boats, and a fine collection of Alpine studies, each accompanied by a full provenance, bibliography and exhibition history.

Price: £50

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