Plate with marine subject

Dihl et Guérhard French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 553

The decoration and unusual painting composition found on this plate, which probably dates to around 1797, attest to the high quality and experimental work of the Dihl et Guérhard manufactory. Founded in 1781 by the modeler Christophe Dihl and the entrepreneur Antoine Guérhard and based in Paris, the factory became the most important private porcelain firm during the French Revolution. Reaching a height during the turbulent period of 1789 to 1798, the firm capitalized upon the abolition of Sèvres’s royal monopoly on porcelain in order to experiment with a variety of vessel shapes, ground colors, decorative effects, and subject matter. Although eighteenth-century natural history cabinets often featured shells and corals, artists rarely depicted specimens in a natural setting, particularly one as unsettling as the misty shoreline and cliffs found in this group of three plates (2018.143.1–.3).

Plate with marine subject, Dihl et Guérhard (French, 1781–ca. 1824), Porcelain, French, Paris

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