In order to minimise the spread of the coronavirus all museums of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden remain closed until 20 April 2020.
Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection)
As the craze for all things Chinese swept across Europe, the continent fell in love with porcelain. August the Strong was the only person to know the secret of how to make it. In 1710, he founded the first European porcelain manufactory in Meissen and made this exotic material into its unique calling card. Thirsting after its beauty, he collected thousands of pieces, the minority of which were the practical everyday items we associate with porcelain today. This explains how the Dresden Porzellansammlung is able to show precious vases, figurines and life-sized sculptures modelled after real animals owned by the Saxon king, alongside the finest dining services.
Peter Martino developed the new design for the galleries holding the most beautiful and rare of the 20,000 pieces preserved in the Dresden Zwinger. The New York architect, who had previously focussed on designing private residences and flagship stores for major fashion houses, underscores the luxury character of the porcelain through his presentation of the pieces either singly or arranged in groups. Largely uncased and freestanding, visitors are able to experience the porcelain more intimately than is usually the case.
Presented before leather hangings, mirrored expanses, or silk-panelled walls, each grouping establishes a world of its own. In this way, lions and fighting dogs made from Meissen porcelain take up position next to peacocks, parrots and a family of monkeys, beneath the canopies of exotic-seeming pavilions. Peter Marino was interested in allowing the visitors to have an emotional experience of baroque opulence, rather than attempting a reconstruction of the collection as August the Strong had planned to present it.
Today, the Porzellansammlung wows visitors, as it is one of the finest collections of its kind worldwide – and the galleries afford a wonderful view of the unique inner courtyard of the Dresden Zwinger to boot.
[Translate to English:] Objekt-Slider Meisterwerke
This latern from the early eighteenth century is another technical and artistic masterpiece by the Chinese potters in Jingdezhen. The wafer-thin and transparent body, the blossom-leaf-shaped supports done in the challenging openwork technique, and the delicate and detailed depictions of a lively southern Chinese river landscape, create a harmonious unity.
The exotic and bizarre form of this bird cage vase, made in Japan for Export around 1700, is still fascinating today due to its combination of various materials. Augustus the Strong had several replicas made of Meissen porcelain to be displayed in his porcelain palace.
In the spring of 1749 Maria Josepha, wife of the French heir to the throne, Louis Dauphin, sent this bouquet of flowers to her father, the King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, Agustus III. The intention was probably to call attention to the high artistic quality achievable at the Vincennes manufactory on the eastern edge of Paris. The painters, who were hired specifically for the project, decorated what were presumably originally 470 blossoms as well as the metal stems and leaves which had been created by the goldsmith Claude le Boitteux. The two figures on the pedestal symbolize poetry and music. To the Online Collection
Model for an Equestrian Monument for King Augustus III of Poland
This model for an equestrian monument for King Augustus III of Poland, Elector of Saxony 1696-1763, King 1734-1763, was intended to be modeled in porcelain at two times life-size. It was the most audacious porcelain monument ever planned by the Meissen modeling master Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775). The Seven Year´s War, however, hindered the execution of the project that had been planned starting in 1753.