hundähnliches Fabeltier auf einer Vase
© SKD, Foto: Jürgen Lösel

Fantastical worlds. Painting on Meissen porcelain and German faience by Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck 1714–1754

To mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, the Porzellansammlung of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden presents a comprehensive exhibition of this artist’s oeuvre, bringing together around 100 selected porcelain and faience exhibits from the Dresden Porzellansammlung, private collections and renowned museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

  • DATES 01/10/2014—22/02/2015


Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (1714–1754) was one of the most important ceramic painters of the eighteenth century. He began his career at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in 1728, but by 1736 had fled to escape restrictions on his artistic development and difficult working conditions in the painters’ workshops. His life then took an adventurous path to a succession of faience manufactories, starting with Bayreuth and moving on by way of Fulda to Strasbourg-Haguenau. Due to his exceptional artistic abilities, but also to his guile and lack of scruples, Löwenfinck eventually rose from lowly journeyman painter to manufactory director.

bunte Käfer auf einer grünen Vase
© SKD, Foto: Jürgen Lösel
Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, Vase aus einem Satz mit erbsgrünem Fond, um 1730, Detailaufnahme Meissen


Inspired by the painted decoration on Chinese and Japanese porcelain in the collection of August the Strong, he created a fantastic world inhabited by vibrantly colourful, fabulous creatures. He later took these exotic motifs, as well as his knowledge of both East Asian and European flower painting, with him as he travelled, transferring them from one workplace to the next. As Löwenfinck did not sign his works, for a long time it was impossible to attribute them with any certainty: as a result, his oeuvre long remained completely unrecognised, even among specialists.

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Phantastische Welten - Fantastical worlds
Phantastische Welten - Fantastical worlds

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The life and works of this exceptional artist were the focus of several years of research conducted by the Porzellansammlung of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. The results of this project are now presented in a comprehensive anniversary exhibition. Systematic evaluation of archive sources, including manufactory reports and case files, shed light on previously little known aspects of social conditions in the porcelain and faience manufactories of the time, and enabled a fundamental and thorough reassessment of his work.

Fabeltiere auf einer Vase
© SKD, Foto: Jürgen Lösel
Deckelvase mit gelbem Fond und Fabeltierdekor (Detail) bemalt von Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, um 1735 Meissen
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