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A work made of soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels and gilding.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels and gilding.


c. 1745


Capodimonte Porcelain Manufactory
Italian, founded 1743
Modeled by Giuseppe Gricci
Italian, c. 1700-1770
Naples, Italy

About this artwork

Made during the first years of the royal porcelain factory in Capodimonte, this rare set is one of the great masterpieces of European porcelain. With its malleability and whiteness, porcelain was especially suited to the Rococo emphasis on asymmetry, natural motifs, and a palette that was lucid and light. These soft-paste porcelain surfaces, probably designed by Capodimonte’s master modeler, Giuseppe Gricci, conjure up the textures and luminescence of sea-washed shells and natural mother-of-pearl. The allusion to the marine world—so appropriate to these water-bearing vessels—is furthered by the use of shell-like forms for both the shape and decoration of the ewer and basin. The surfaces of the vessels are also encrusted with marine elements, and a trompe l’oeil coral branch cleverly serves as the ewer’s handle. Swirling lines and irregular surfaces contribute to the ewer’s sense of lightness and complete the allusion to the sea.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Real Fabbrica della porcellana di Capodimonte




Capodimonte (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels and gilding


16.5 × 38.7 × 34.3 cm (6 1/2 × 15 1/4 × 13 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Norman Chatain in memory of Professor Alfred Chatain

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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