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Meissen

Meissen

The 23rd of January 1710 the court of Dresda annouced that in Saxony it was possible to manufacture a porcelain that had comparable quality of the one of the oriental India and that production of it would start promptly. E.W.vonTschirnhaus(1651-1791), mathematician, and science enthusiast, together with Johann Friedrich Bottger, is considered the spiritual father of the invention of european porcelain. Botteger was initially a pharmacist and his fame as alchemist brought him to Dresda and to Meissen. On the 28th of March 1709 he declared his invention of the european porcelain. The court of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony was often attended by scientists, architechs, jewelers, painters and sculptors all in Dresda to have part in the trasformation of the city in the era of August the great. His production from Meissen was aimed to reduce manufacture costs and to inflate profits through sales. Since it was the first production of porcelain in Europe there was a huge request from all other courts. The castle of Meissen, far from the residence of the Dresden court, must have seemed particularly suited to guard the Arcanum, the secret of porcelain manufacture: in November 1711 the factory had 25 employees, on the 21st April 1714 Augustus the Strong stopped by the castle, ate a quick breakfast with Bottger, who had been released only two days before, after 13 years as a hostage: in exchange, he had to swear not to leave the country and not to reveal the formula for the porcelain. In May 1720 the 24 year old arrived at Meissen Johann Gregorius Höroldt that, as an independent contributor to the manufacturing, would finally enhanced the production of a brightly colored theme; he developed a wide range of colors for painting on porcelain, that he used himself in many decorations. He is considered the founder of painting on porcelain tout court, having contributed in an essential way, with his accomplishments (chinoiserie, flowers, hunting scenes), to the spread of Meissen porcelain in the world. The so-called "Onion" decoration of Meissen, inspired by ancient Chinese models, dates back to 1739 and is still made by hand in underglaze cobalt blue version: despite the name, it does not represent onions, but 4 peaches and 4 pomegranates, symbols of fertility and longevity. Kaendler Johann Joachim (1706-1775) was called by the prince Elector in 1731 at Meissen, and started first on challenging projects of large porcelain animals intended for the "Japanese Palace". In the mid-'30s began to create small statues, becoming master modeler, arcanist (depositary of the secret), and commissioner of the court in 1749. He, with his collaborators, created a series of figures drawn from a wide range of social groups that are still made, such as the famous "Paris sellers". In 1765 he created a first version of the "monkey musicians," which he then elaborated together with the modeler Reinicke:" The Orchestra of the Apes" is one of the masterpieces of Meissen of the eighteenth century, is still manufactured by hand and enjoys great popularity among collectors of Meissen porcelain. Since 1700, all ages with their typical conceptions and manifestations, have been immortalized in the creations of Meissen. A process that continues uninterrupted, both in the sculpting and in the painting.It's the attention to detail, with it's symbolic meaning, that makes Meissen porcelain so interesting and original: a table set with Meissen porcelain is today, no less than in the past, something truly unique: from the enchanting harmony of colors, lights and shapes exudes a charm that will surely impress.

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