DELFT PORCELAIN. European faience

GRASSI Museum 23.11.2017 – 06.05.2018


With the special exhibition “DELFT PORCELAIN. European faience”, the GRASSI Museum for Applied Art, Leipzig shows a significant collection, which has been little noticed and exhibited: European faience of the most diverse manufactories and countries from the 17th to the 18th century.


The museum's collection of faience is exceptionally extensive and qualitatively outstanding. Since the opening of the museum in 1874, faience have been collected continuously, so that the collection today comprises about 540 harnesses and about 145 tiles of almost all major manufactories. A comprehensive collection of 55 items of French faience were donated as a gift to the museum in 2014. In the exhibition, these faiences will be presented to the public for the first time.


Faience have been extremely popular since the 17th century. They belonged to both the nobility and the upper middle class as an integral part of an exclusive interior design. The wealthy citizens and the aristocrats ordered large lids and pots, representative, partially painted with the family crested service or utensils. They tried to imitate the precious Chinese porcelain, that was imported by “Vereenigden Oostindischen Compagnie” founded in the year 1602 with faience in shape and color as exactly as possible. This effect was achieved by a cobalt blue decoration on a white opaque tin glaze. The often elaborately crafted works of art are until today documents of one of the imaginative epochs of European art and cultural history. They reflect the life forms of the 18th century in their great complexity and all their richness and reveal at the same time social conditions, representative demands and typical customs.


In the exhibition, each visitor can participate in the creation of a large tile image. The exhibits should serve as inspiration. An ornamental joint venture grows tile by tile in white and blue. At the end of the exhibition time, visitors can pick up their own tile puzzle piece and send it to its new use.


In the exhibition, a scientific publication will be published which provides a comprehensive overview of the existence and the loss of European faience in the GRASSI Museum for Applied Art, Leipzig. Passage-Verlag Leipzig, € 25.00. Available in the museum shop and in bookstores. ISBN 978-3-95415-067-0.



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