Ewer

Porcelain pitcher with coral handle, encrusted shells, gold interior
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Porcelain pitcher with coral handle, encrusted shells, gold interior

Date:

c. 1745

Artist:

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

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.

On View

European Decorative Art, Gallery 215

Artist

Real Fabbrica della porcellana di Capodimonte

Title

Ewer

Origin

Capodimonte

Date

1740–1750

Medium

Soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels and gilding

Dimensions

H. 30.5 cm (12 in.)

Credit Line

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

Reference Number

1957.490a

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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