Two-handled vase with maidens from the "Dancing Hours"

Wedgwood and Bentley British
With ornament originally modeled by John Flaxman British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 512

The ceramics firm of Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley distinguished itself from other Staffordshire potteries by relying upon talented sculptors such as John Flaxman to reinterpret antiquity for modern British consumers. This vase is decorated with the "Dancing Hours," one of the best-known bas-reliefs designed around 1776-8 by Flaxman. A sculptor and designer whose own father had been a modeler and maker of plaster casts, Flaxman drew inspiration from a chimneypiece that once belonged to the Palazzo Borghese in Rome. Similar dancing figures were also in the antiquities publications that Wedgwood and Bentley relied upon as sources of inspiration.

Two-handled vase with maidens from the "Dancing Hours", Wedgwood and Bentley (British, Etruria, Staffordshire, 1769–1780), Black basalt ware, British, Etruria, Staffordshire

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