• Tokyo-Paris: Two LDMLs
Presentation organinzed by :
  • DNP
Seventh Louvre - DNP Museumlab Presentation Diplomacy and Sèvres Porcelain, From October 23, 2010 (Sat.) to May 15, 2011 (Sun.).

"Pot à oille" (tureen) from the "service à frise riche en couleurs" delivered to Queen Marie Antoinette on August 26, 1784 and Tray presented by Louis XVI to King Gustavus III of Sweden on June 22, 1784
Musée du Louvre, Department of Decorative Arts
© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Martine Beck-Coppola
The first white porcelain was produced in Asia. When the Europeans discovered it, they were fascinated by its beauty, seeking to recreate it. After much trial and error, they managed to unravel the mystery of porcelain production in the 18th century.

Emblematic of France's cultural influence, Sèvres porcelain, with its goldwork and delicate use of color decoration on pure white grounds, became highly prized throughout Europe. First produced during the reign of Louis XV, these precious objects with their smooth finish and delicate decoration were the preserve of highly-skilled craftsmen. Beautiful Sèvres porcelain was among the gifts exchanged in diplomatic relations between the French royal household and the courts of Europe.

When erstwhile Prussia took hold of Austrian territories, Empress Maria Theresa retaliated by forming an alliance with France, a nation that had been Austria's enemy for three hundred years. To seal this new alliance of both of their countries, Louis XV presented Maria Theresa of Austria with a lavish Sèvres porcelain service comprising around 200 pieces, including the plate with garland decoration. The ties would be confirmed a few years later when Marie-Antoinette became queen of France.

In this presentation, visitors can admire items of Sèvres porcelain presented by 18th-century French kings to other European nations such as Austria, Denmark, and Sweden, while also learning about the techniques of their manufacture and the mores of court table etiquette. Each of these splendid examples of Sèvres porcelain contains a fascinating story.
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