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Vase (urne Duplessis) (group of three)

Vincennes Manufactory (French, ca. 1740–1756)
Attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis (French, ca. 1695–1774, active 1748–74)
ca. 1752
French, Vincennes
Soft-paste porcelain
Overall (confirmed): 9 1/2 × 5 3/8 × 4 1/2 in. (24.1 × 13.7 × 11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Morris Hawkes, 1924
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 545
Some of the very earliest products of the Vincennes factory were in the style of Meissen, which was the dominant porcelain factory in Europe in the first half of the eighteenth century. However, the new enterprise quickly developed its own recognizable style, which was entirely French in character, accomplishing this by hiring artists of high caliber who were already working in an established, distinctively French manner, and thus less susceptible to influence from Meissen.

This vase was designed by Jean-Claude Duplessis, the head of the modeling workshop at Vincennes and then at Sèvres, to which the factory moved in 1756. Duplessis had been trained as a goldsmith, bronze worker, and sculptor, and his sculptural approach is evident in the many models he designed for manufacture in porcelain. This vase has been given a base in the form of molded rock work; the baluster shape is encrusted with three-dimensional flowers; and the handles are formed as two intertwined branches with clinging morning glories. In its use of motifs from nature, in the asymmetrical application of flowers, and in the sense of movement embodied by the design, the vase is a quintessential expression of the French Rococo style. The painted decoration is notable for being especially skillfully integrated with the three-dimensional flowers, which merge seamlessly with the two-dimensional ones.
E. M. Hodgkins (in 1909) ; Mrs. Morris Hawkes (until 1924; to MMA)
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