Russian; Saint Petersburg, Imperial Porcelain Manufactory
Hard–paste porcelain; (.167): H. 8 9/16 in. (21.7 cm); (.175): H. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.167,.175)
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory entered a period of prosperity under the patronage of Catherine the Great. The factory mainly served the needs of the court and, at the order of the empress, created unique pieces to be given as gifts to foreign dignitaries, favorites, and courtiers.
Beginning in 1779, the chief modeler at the factory, Jean-Dominique Rochette (17441809), extended the scope of production by creating a series of figures in porcelain. Rochette's workshop was responsible for the first series of figures known as the People of Russia. The series was inspired by the book of the famous ethnographer and traveler Johann Gottlieb Georgi entitled A Description of All the Peoples Inhabiting the Russian State. Work on the series continued from 1780 until 1804.