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


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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Book of the Week: The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly Catalogue Raisonné

Axsom, Richard H:  The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly.  2 Volumes. Portland: 2012. 870pp., with 424 illustrations. Cloth in a slipcase, 32 x 29.5cms.  Catalogue raisonné of the complete prints of American artist Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923), who redefined abstract art through his bold colourful style. 01-EKelly-150x150 Drawn from observations of the world around him, the artist’s vocabulary of shapes and silhouettes explores plants, architecture, shadows and spaces, and celebrates them through abstraction, producing uniquely vibrant forms. Includes two essays on Kelly’s work pre and post 1987, and traces his stylistic evolution, sources, techniques and collaborations through a survey of over 300 prints, chronologically arranged, and reproduced in colour.
£ 175.00

Also available:

Chatham Series

Temkin, Ann:  The Chatham Series.  Exhibition: New York, Museum of Modern Art, 2013. 45pp., with 48 illustrations. Wrappers, 27 x 23cms.  An exhibition catalogue compiled by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, to celebrate the artist’s 90th birthday this year. The Chatham Series consists of 14 paintings made by Ellsworth Kelly (b.1923) after leaving New York City for Spencertown in 1970; the paintings have not been exhibited together since they were presented at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, in 1972. Each work takes the form of an inverted ell, and is made of two joined canvases, with each canvas a monochrome of a different colour. They embody a key moment in Kelly’s artistic career, and reflect an approach still practised by the artist today. The series will be on display at the MoMA from 23 May – 8 September, 2013.
£ 14.95

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