A Berlin KPM porcelain vase with mythological decor
Unidentified model, fired in two parts and screw-mounted. Richly gilded vase decorated with two finely painted coloured mythological scenes, trophy bundles on café-au-lait ground, butterflies around the neck and classical tripod dish designs. Blue sceptre mark with red dash. Formerly wired for use as a lamp, reversible. H 47.5 cm.
The extremely finely painted and densely populated scenes that decorate this vase are based on works by the Bolognese artist Francesco Albani (1578 - 1660), namely his "Love of Venus and Cupid" and "Cupid disarmed by the nymphs of Diana".
The vase probably originates from one of the gifts of porcelain awarded by the king after the Franco-Prussian War. Frederick William III rewarded his most deserving officers not only with monetary gifts and titles, but also with precious porcelain pieces and specially made services. However, the allied commanders such as the Duke of Wellington, whose spectacular porcelain gifts can be admired today in Apsley House in London, also benefited from this. The products of the Prussian manufactory were among the most sought-after luxury goods of the age, ones which the presentees were suitably honoured to receive. The pieces could be decorated in a myriad of ways, but copies of famous paintings were particularly frequent, especially on dessert plates and centrepieces such as tureens and vases. The mythological subjects were considered innocuous, despite the permissive depictions, because they bore no obvious contemporary references and instead the moral-pedagogical aspect - that is, the lesson conveyed by the images - stood in the foreground.
Illus. in Wittwer, Unbekannte Schätze aus Berliner Privatsammlungen, in: Keramos 221/2013, p. 35 ff., illus. 54.