Africa, from Allegories of the Four Continents

Manufactory Fulda Pottery and Porcelain Manufactory German
After a design by Johann Andreas Herrlein

Not on view

In the eighteenth century, small-scale figurines representing the allegories of the four continents were a popular fixture in genteel spaces. While the dissemination of such iconography in print form encouraged scholarly reflection, its migration into the realm of the decorative arts prompted whimsy and pleasure. The polished surfaces and exquisite detail of this ambitious group by the Fulda Manufactory afforded European viewers the intimate, tactile experience of beholding representations of other continents, whose precious goods and natural resources they coveted. Africa’s lavish attributes, including jewelry, shells, and a cornucopia brimming with fruits, suggest Europe’s growing economic interest in the continent.

Africa, from Allegories of the Four Continents, Fulda Pottery and Porcelain Manufactory (German, 1764–1789), Hard-paste porcelain, German, Fulda

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