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In conjunction with the exhibition Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (on view October 3, 2012–January 6, 2013), Anthony Sigel, Guest Curator, and Conservator of Objects and Sculpture, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums, outlines the research and discoveries he and his fellow curators made in preparation for the exhibition. By researching Bernini's methods, Sigel has determined which figures Bernini created himself and which ones were likely created by assistants. His lecture includes his own photographs of the models and detailed descriptions of Bernini's methods.
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Cup (Tasse Jasmin)
Teapot (Théière Pestum) (part of a service)
Teapot (Théière Asselin)
Plaque depicting Bernard Palissy
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 554
This teapot is one of the more striking and original creations of the Sèvres manufactory from the first half of the nineteenth century, when the factory’s production was marked by constant innovation and a striving for novelty. The decoration reflects the ongoing popularity of chinoiserie, a term used to describe the European fascination with an imagined and exotic Asia. In the eighteenth century objects in the chinoiserie taste were usually decorated with fanciful depictions of life in Asia as Europeans envisioned it. In contrast, this teapot employs and reinterprets motifs perceived to be Asian in origin. The lotus leaves of the handle, the carved ivory grip at the top, the prominent butterfly, and even the yellow ground color are references to Chinese decorative arts, but the manner in which these elements are rendered and combined is entirely European.The Sèvres archives record that the teapot was made as an individual object rather than as part of a service and that is was sold to the queen of France, Marie-Amélie, who took possession of it in August 1837.
Inscription: Marked on underside: Sèvres 32 [in blue], M30av [in gold]
Incised on underside: 9.31.12
Queen Marie Amélie (delivered August 21, 1837) ; [ sale, Perrin, Royère, Lajeunesse , November 10, 1991, lot 60 ] ; [ sale, Étude Tajan , June 22, 1999 ] ; [ sale, Sotheby's, Paris , March 29, 2007, lot 123 ] ; [ Dragesco-Cramoisan , to MMA ]
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