Pair of seated figures with globes

Factory Chantilly French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 201

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Asian countries were a source of considerable fascination and allure to Europeans. Asian figures were frequently chosen as subjects to decorate ceramics and other works of art produced in Europe, but these depictions were rarely based on firsthand knowledge and thus were usually fanciful. This figure of a Chinese man seated with a globe was intended to be decorative, but also may allude to China’s sophisticated understanding of astronomy during this period.

Pair of seated figures with globes, Chantilly (French), Soft-paste porcelain painted with colored enamels over tin glaze; gilt bronze, French, Chantilly

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